The church at Antioch comes to mind as I think about "sending" forth men and women equipped with the power of God's truth and principles and the Spirit. We are seeing this happen in unusual ways and places. As America falls apart spiritually, economically and politically with the rest of the world, I see a quiet, but powerful work of God moving to prepare Christ's Bride for the last push of the gospel into the unreached corners of this tired world. Then the end will come and Christ will gather His Bride from the four corners into His glorious presence to feast on His beautiful face, to hear His blessed voice, and eat at His table of eternal delights. I can hardly wait!! But, the timing is His, not ours. Jesus said, “And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.” (Luke 12:42–43). This is not time to get distracted with lesser things. Lord, help me and my brothers and sisters stay on the path you have marked out for us that we might be to the praise of your glory! Amen!
Natural disasters are often used by God to put His servants in the right place at the right time so that the next chapter in effective missions can be written. “A great famine over all the world…took place in the days of Claudius (a self-centered, wicked ruler)” (Acts 11:28). God moved the hearts of the disciples at Antioch to “send relief to the brothers living in Judea. And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul” (11:29-30).
Please note two things in this decision. First, Antioch did not try to retain these men for themselves. I am certain there was strong attachment after one year of teaching and experiencing Christ being formed in them. This was a time of amazing spiritual growth and strengthening. Yet, Antioch was willing to release their best for the simple task of helping brothers in need. Second, Barnabas and Saul did not fear that leaving would cause these Antioch disciples to fail. They were totally confident in the Holy Spirit work in them.
In the next blog, we will see another page in the divine plan for this trip to Jerusalem. But before you leave today’s posting, ask if you and your church have confidence in the work of the Holy Spirit in new believers? If you have a feeling of fear that failure will take place if you leave and God sends you somewhere else, then you should examine how effective your teaching is.
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