Posts Tagged ‘Antioch’

Acts 11:23
When he [Barnabas] arrived [in Antioch] and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.

Antioch was a huge city in those years, possibly even 100,000 strong according to Wikipedia. There was a large contingent of Jews there as well. But the point here is that Greeks were hearing the message about Jesus in overwhelming numbers for the first time. It was such a big deal that the Jerusalem apostles heard about the conversions. Probably with some alarm, they sent their best diplomat, Barnabas, to check it out.

What does he find: “evidence of grace.” So what does this evidence look like?

Back then, I would imagine it looked very similar to the early church in Jerusalem where believers gathered together often, worshiped God, and practiced caring for those less fortunate: they fed the poor, the widow & the orphan. There was joy and hopefulness. There were healings and miracles. There was change.

We must remember that grace, by its definition, is a gift given to someone or something that is undeserving. It is hands-on mercy. What Barnabas saw was tangible gift-giving.

But like a “wave” at a stadium, unless everyone does it, the wave falters and fails. Each individual must make the decision to participate. It’s active.

How does the wave start at a sports game? Supposedly, it only takes about a dozen fans to start a wave in a stadium. Isn’t that an interesting number?

But before there are twelve… there is one…. one with an idea and a vision. Where is the evidence of grace at my own house… my street… my neighborhood… my town? Where is the wave? Am I the one to start it? Are you?

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