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Acts 11:19-30 (NIV)
The Church in Antioch
19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. 22 News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. 25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. 27 During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) 29 The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. 30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.
Why did Barnabus recruit Saul?
The apostles recruited Barnabas to preach Your word to Antioch. He recognized the task was bigger than what he could handle alone. Barnabus was the one who helped Saul to be accepted by the church in Jerusalem. Barnabus recognized Paul’s gifts and saw this as an opportunity for both Paul and the church in Antioch to grow. The church was in need of the help of intelligent servants. There were countless spiritual difficulties to be resolved, much work to be done and educated workers were scarce. Barnabus had confidence in Paul at a time when the Jewish Christians were still skeptical of him. It was a great opportunity for Paul to prove himself. Thank you for leaders like Barnabus who recognize the skills of others and encourage them to grow by serving You. The church today has many challenges. There are countless spiritual difficulties to be resolved, much work to be done and workers are scarce. Lead the church leaders and those inspired to serve You in specific ways to recognize and encourage the gifts of people in the congregation to serve together. Empower them by Your Spirit. Grow them in their faith and at the same time grow Your church. Thank You for those who recognized my gifts and had confidence in me. I was able to serve in ways I would never have chosen on my own, but it was when I was asked to work with someone, I stepped out and Your Spirit used my efforts and You expanded my heart. Let me recognize when the tasks are bigger than I can handle alone. Open my eyes to see the potential in others and ask them for help. Unite Your people and grow them by working together to serve. You grow people who are willing to work to expand Your kingdom. Thank you for the gift of volunteers and for those who enable them to serve You. Amen.