Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
Today's Morsel: Spiritual development seemed to be at the heart of Paul's ministry. He stated, "Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:19-24). I often hear men say that their churches aren't growing and they become discouraged and the spirit of quitting gets upon them. But quitting should never be in a minister's heart, especially because their church isn't growing. There is always a correct way to relinquish command. If you are using the number system to measure your growth process, you are going to be discouraged. God's doesn't use a numbering system to measure your growth process, He uses a measurement of spiritual maturity of those present. When reading through the book of Acts, I noticed that sometimes Paul and Barnabas would spend an entire year or longer in one location teaching the people so they could mature in Christ. Let me encourage you, don't bail ship because of numbers. Remember, it is God that gives the increase, we just sow the seed. Keep sowing and allow God to do His part.
Sing: Standing on the promises of Christ my King, through eternal ages let His praises ring, glory in the highest I will shout and sing; Standing on the promises of God.
Standing! Standing! Standing on the promises of Christ my Savior. Standing! Standing! I'm standing on the promises of God.
Thought for Today: Strengthen the body by declaring the word.