Posts Tagged ‘Antioch’


Acts 15:1-2, 7-11
Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them…Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

As you must probably be aware, the winter Olympics is currently taking place here in Vancouver, Canada and the world’s best athletes are here to win the Olympic medal for their country and for themselves. These athletes are the best in their fields and had to qualify by participating in several local, regional, national and international competitions to get a chance to compete here. They are called Olympians just because they qualified and not because they won a medal. In much the same way, we believe that in every area of our lives, people need to qualify. Whether it be a job, education, a loan and even in religion. This seems to be the issue reflected in the passage above where the Gentiles (Non-Jews) were expected to be circumcised to be saved.

When Jesus came into this world, he seemed to be anti-establishment in some ways and that specifically related to areas where rituals and expectations became a part of religion. With his death, the curtain that prevented the Jews from entering the holy sanctuary in the temple was torn because through Jesus, we are given access to God directly with nothing holding us back. We never qualified to be found acceptable in the eyes of God. It is God’s mercy for us that gives us access to Him. We are reminded today to put away the rituals and pre-qualification standards we have in our minds to reach the lost for Christ. Lets go out and show the world what a loving God we serve!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Acts 11:22-26
News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 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.

The news that brought Barnabas out to Antioch from the comforts of his home was that of Christ being preached and many submitting their lives to God’s leading in places as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch. It says that Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith and a great number of people were brought to the Lord through him. That sounds fair and investing him into that ministry was a great idea but why Saul? The last time he tried, he was getting in trouble with the officials and had to taken away in hiding by the believers there. What was the Lord doing and what is his direction to us today through this passage?

In recent weeks, I’ve been raving about the training I’ve been receiving at my new job. The content is from top educational institutions and the investment in time and resources by my bank in me is something I can never imagine. It’s something I know God blessed me with and was not because of anything I did or deserved. However, when I compare this to the awesomeness of my Christian education through God’s own words, nothing compares! What is most amazing is that God invests his Holy Spirit in people who themselves may not make the worldly cut for their roles but God uses them to glorify himself. We’re all broken clay pots restored by the Holy Spirit for God’s use. Lets go out and fulfill God’s call in our lives to impact the generations for HIM!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting this group. Also, share it with your friends and family who need some encouragement and direction in their lives.