19 October 2017
Reading: Job 4-5; Psalm 108; Acts 10-11
34 Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God doesn’t show partiality. 35 In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. (Acts 10:34-35 NLT)
20 However, some of the believers who went to Antioch from Cyprus and Cyrene began preaching to Gentiles about the Lord Jesus. 21 The power of the Lord was upon them, and large numbers of these Gentiles believed and turned to the Lord. (Acts 11:20-21 NLT)
Acts 10 tells a great story about how God got the gospel message introduced to the Gentiles for the first time. It took angels, supernatural visions, and a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but God convinced Peter and his companions that he cared about Gentiles and wanted to include them in his Kingdom. Acts 11 follows with the story of the birth of the first all-Gentile church in Syrian Antioch. This time the message was carried by foreign-born Jewish believers in Christ who weren’t afraid to tell the Good News about Jesus to a whole community of Gentiles.
23 When he arrived and saw this proof of God’s favor, he was filled with joy, and he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord. 24 Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And large numbers of people were brought to the Lord. (Acts 11:23-24 NLT)
Barnabas was the right man for this situation because he was able to overcome prejudices and see God’s grace at work. Barnabas also saw the scope of the opportunity and went to find Saul of Tarsus who had been dramatically converted to faith in Christ and who would eventually focus his ministry on Gentiles.
We still need breakthroughs in Christian unity, in doctrine and practice, in church shapes and systems. God is still looking for people who are willing to leave their comfort zone and participate in breakthrough ministry!
Father, Thanks for letting me participate in a season of breakthrough ministry in the early 70’s with the Jesus People movement. I’m thankful to have participated in a season of breakthrough ministry in Jamaica in the 80’s and in East Africa in the 90’s where the role of missionaries shifted from governing ministry to supporting ministry. I’d like to participate in another breakthrough of your choice! Do I have time?