Evidence Of Grace
04 February 2009
Evidence of Grace
When he arrived 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. (Acts 11:23 NIV)
Persecution scattered the Jerusalem Christ-followers. Some of them traveled north to the Syrian city of Antioch and like the other scattered believers, they told the Good News story everywhere they went. In Antioch, many Gentiles believed the message and became followers of Jesus Christ. When the Jerusalem church heard Gentiles were converting to the faith, they sent Barnabas to check it out.
Barnabas was from the Greek island of Cyprus so he had experience with Gentiles. He was also a second-chance-giver and an encourager, so it looks like he was the ideal man to send. When Barnabas reached Antioch and met this growing group of mostly Gentile, partly Jewish, partly Gentile converts to Judaism, then to faith in Christ (like Nicolas, one of the first deacons – see GraceNotes for January 30, 2009) he saw the evidence of the Grace Of God.
Barnabas saw God’s Grace at work in this multi-race, multi-religious group who had nothing in common except their faith in Jesus Christ and he was glad! He encouraged them to keep going in their faith journey, not to try to do church like Jerusalem does.
The name Barnabas means “Encourager.” God made me to be an encourager too. With Barnabas as my example, I purpose to approach each new person and each new situation with my eyes wide open to see the Grace of God at work – in lives, in relationships, in ministries.
Father, Please help me to be a Grace-noticer. In every person and situation let me see your Grace at work. Give me Grace to not only see your Grace in others, but to rejoice in their successes and to encourage them in their uniqueness. I love the evidence of your Grace. Amen.