Day 105 | Thursday, 2 July 2020
I have taken today’s scripture and insight from the Daily Bread for July 2, 2020
Acts 11:19-26 The Antioch church
19 Now those who were scattered as a result of the trouble that occurred because of Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch. They proclaimed the word only to Jews.
20 Among them were some people from Cyprus and Cyrene. They entered Antioch and began to proclaim the good news about the Lord Jesus also to Gentiles.
21 The Lord’s power was with them, and a large number came to believe and turned to the Lord.
22 When the church in Jerusalem heard about this, they sent Barnabas to Antioch.
23 When he arrived and saw evidence of God’s grace, he was overjoyed and encouraged everyone to remain fully committed to the Lord.
24 Barnabas responded in this way because he was a good man, whom the Holy Spirit had endowed with exceptional faith. A considerable number of people were added to the Lord.
25 Barnabas went to Tarsus in search of Saul.
26 When he found him, he brought him to Antioch. They were there for a whole year, meeting with the church and teaching large numbers of people. It was in Antioch where the disciples were first labeled “Christians.”
“[Barnabas] encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.”
“Today's Scripture & Insight:”
“Never give up. Be the reason someone smiles. You’re amazing. It isn’t where you came from—it’s where you’re going that counts. Some schoolchildren in Virginia Beach, Virginia, found these messages and more written on bananas in their lunchroom. Cafeteria manager Stacey Truman took the time to write the encouraging notes on the fruit, which the kids dubbed “talking bananas.””
“This caring outreach reminds me of Barnabas’ heart for the “spiritual youngsters” in the ancient city of Antioch (Acts 11:22–24). Barnabas was famous for his ability to inspire people. Known as a good man, full of faith and the Holy Spirit, he prompted the new believers to “remain true to the Lord with all their hearts” (v. 23). I imagine he spent time with those he wanted to help, saying things like: Keep praying. Trust the Lord. Stay close to God when life is hard.”
“New believers, like children, need loads of encouragement. They’re full of potential. They’re discovering what they’re good at. They may not fully realize what God wants to do in and through them, and often the enemy works overtime to prevent their faith from flourishing.”
“Those of us who’ve walked with Jesus for a while understand how hard living for Jesus can be. May all of us be able to give and receive encouragement as God’s Spirit guides us and reminds us of spiritual truth.” By: Jennifer Benson Schuldt
“Reflect & Pray”
“How has God encouraged you in the past? How might God want to work through you to inspire someone?”
Gracious God, we thank you for those who have encouraged us on our journey in faith. We are still growing and still in need of encouragement. Lord, we also are ready to be encouragers to others. Help us find those whom we might encourage. Lord, hear our prayers. Amen
Today: pray for those who are encouraging us in these different times in our lives.
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Rev. Douglas Knopp, Pastor Emeritus