Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 20, 2019

“Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God”

Today’s devotion comes from Acts 11:19-26.

“So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that occurred in connection with Stephen made their way to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone.  But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus.  And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.  The news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch.  Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord;  for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.  And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord.  And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul;  and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch.  And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers;  and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”  Acts 11:19-26.

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Other doctrine focuses on its own alleged free-will, its own wisdom, and its own works.

But, Reformed Doctrine focuses on the grace of God.

What is the fruit of being captivated by the grace of God?

“Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord;  for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.  And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord.”  Verses 23-24.

When we are captivated by the grace of God, we rejoice.

“Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones;
And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.”  Psalm 32:11.

“Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him.”  Psalm 32:10.

When we are captivated by the grace of God, we encourage others.

“For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.  Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”  1 Thessalonians 5:9-11.

When we are captivated by the grace of God, we are resolute, steadfast, and remain true to the Lord.

“but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”  1 Corinthians 15:57-58.

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain;  but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.”  1 Corinthians 15:10.

When we are captivated by the grace of God, people shift their focus from themselves and turn to the Lord.

“And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.”  Verse 21.

“… considerable numbers were brought to the Lord.”  Verse 24.


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