19 Some believers had been scattered by the suffering that came to them after Stephen’s death. They traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch. But they told the message only to Jews. 20 Some believers from Cyprus and Cyrene went to Antioch. There they began to speak to Greeks also. They told them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s power was with them. Large numbers of people believed and turned to the Lord. 22 The church in Jerusalem heard about this. So they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad. He told them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 Barnabas was a good man. He was full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. Large numbers of people came to know the Lord. 25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul. 26 He found him there. Then he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church. They taught large numbers of people. At Antioch the believers were called Christians for the first time.
In Antioch the believers had such success spreading the word about Jesus that Jews and Greeks believed and turned to the Lord. The response was so good that Barnabas was sent to check it out. He was glad to see God at work and encouraged Saul to retu
rn there with him to teach the people.
It makes me wonder what Saul was up to. What was it that he left behind to devote a year of his life here? I imagine there was a lot of good work to be involved in. Yet this area where disciples were first called Christians is what he devoted himself to for a year.
Life is busy and full of good things to do. I really want to make sure that I devote myself to God’s calling.
It makes me check and
What should I leave and lay down?
Is there something new that I should take up?
Written by Lyndall Gourlay