As the gospel spreads outside of Jerusalem, some Gentiles in Antioch become disciples. “The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch”(Acts 11:22). Churches have “ears,” which emphasizes that they are people, not buildings. When the Jerusalem church hears this good news, they send Barnabas to help encourage these new converts. “When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose”(Acts 11:23). Barnabas is excited to find what God has been doing and encourages them to follow through on their positive beginning. All new Christians need to be encouraged to continue faithful to Jesus.
Part of this encouragement stems from Barnabas himself: “for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith”(Acts 11:24). Exhortation has deeper impact when we see the great character of the person who is giving it. There is another effect of Barnabas’ work: “And a great many people were added to the Lord”(Acts 11:24). Encouragement leads to growth. Everyone wants to join this group that is full of momentum, positivity, and genuine commitment.
It is telling that the Jerusalem church thinks to send a man like Barnabas to help new Christians. While converts desperately need more information about Jesus, they also need genuine people who will encourage them not to give up on Jesus.
------------- One Thing to Think About: Who can I encourage today?
One Thing to Pray For: Steadfast purpose to remain faithful to the Lord
This message was sent to: from
Fairview Park church of Christ, 11820 Fairview Road, Little Rock, AR 72212
If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter click to unsubscribe. Modify your Subscription