Google+ 01/22/14 We Are But the Joyful Messengers!

Acts 11:20-24

 

However, some of the believers who went to Antioch from Cyprus and Cyrene

Began preaching to the Gentiles about the Lord Jesus.

The power of the Lord was with them,

And a large number of these Gentiles believed and turned to the Lord.

When the church at Jerusalem heard what had happened, they sent Barnabas to Antioch.

When he arrived and saw this evidence of God’s blessing, he was filled with joy,

And he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord.

Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith.

And many people were brought to the Lord.

 

In part three of our six-part devotion series entitled, "Acts of Joy For Jesus!" Luke tells us about the success of the believers, as they shared the Good News with the Gentiles.  As we know, the mission of the disciples, and all believers, changed when Jesus ascended into heaven.  He gave all of us a new directive.  Everyone, everywhere was now to hear the gospel message.  To that end, some of the believers from the church in Jerusalem traveled off to Cyprus and Cyrene.  Our Scripture tells us that the power of the Lord was with them.  As a result of their preaching God's Word, a large number of Gentiles believed and turned to Jesus.  When the church at Jerusalem heard the news, they sent Barnabas to be a first-hand witness of all these conversions.  When Barnabas saw all of their success for Christ, he was filled with the joy of the Lord.  He encouraged all of the "Newbies" to stay true to the Lord.  Because Barnabas was filled with the Holy Spirit and had great faith, many people were brought to the Lord.  There are several things we should apply from today's Scripture lesson.  First, believers went and preached the gospel as instructed.  They reached out for Jesus as instructed.  So should we.  Secondly, the success they had was with the Gentiles, not the Jews.  Both now and then, many of the people who claimed to be believers simply did not have faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ.  Many of them were "legalists."  Jesus came to earth in the form of a baby to live and die for each of us.  The message was clear.  His resurrection proves that Jesus is enough.  Anything else is pure fiction and should be dismissed by all of us.  This includes those religions or denominations who preach something other than, instead of, or in addition to Jesus.  Finally, the believers and Barnabas had great success for one reason.  They were all filled with the joy of the Lord.  We ministers, churches, and believers do not "save" anyone and we need to be clear about this fact.  The saving is all done by God, through His Son Jesus Christ.  Without being filled with the Holy Spirit, we can do nothing.  So before we preach the Word of God to the Gentiles, we must make sure to call on the Holy Spirit to indwell us.  After all,  "We Are But the Joyful Messengers!"