One important quality the Holy Spirit gave the Apostles when the Church was born, was wisdom. This was greatly needed. Just as Jesus left the disciples and the Church in the sufficient hands of the Holy Spirit, so the Apostles left behind them instructions that were vital for the health of the Church until the Lord will return.
Two days ago, we looked at Barnabas and his handling of new Gentile believers at Antioch. We stopped short of the final point in Acts 11:23; “When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose.” This principle is key to establish believers anywhere, at any time, and under any conditions.
How is this done? “Exhort” means to “encourage or console” by verbal or non-verbal means. It is an “earnest request” that comes from the heart of the person making the request, knowing that perseverance is dependent on “remain faithful to the Lord.” The object of faithfulness is never to leaders, but to the Lord. He must be our sole reason for all we do and say!
Barnabas adds to this formula, “with steadfast purpose.” The mind and heart must be fully set on a plan to “remain faithful.” Since God has planned everything about us and the Church ‘before the foundation of the world,” should we be careful to live for His purpose? In the conditions this world is in during these days, this instruction is even more important.
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