Being the church that is heard and felt

“News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, 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.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭11‬:‭22‬-‭24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

How is it that in the Bible people were flocking to follow Jesus but in our society we struggle to keep people following Jesus. The temptation to focus on ourselves is subtly leading our hearts and minds away from the giver of life. In a time where the church is struggling to keep pace with the multitude of messages that are competing to bring us hope and worth, why was the message so attractive then that seems to have lost its lustre today.

At the time when them message was being given, it would have been different for a god to want to be among the people and giving to the people. It would have also been strange to forgive and not want people fear. And to think of someone dying for the sins of others and fulfilling promises given long ago. It was a message of hope, of love, and of grace. Hearing the message of Jesus’ death and resurrection was something great for the common people. There was hope for them.

Have we come so far that Jesus rising from the grave and forgiving our sins is so far from believable or relevant? Or have we gone so far from the Gospel that it is unbelievable.because our actions do not line up with what the Gospel is expressing.

Sending Barnabas showed the people that the message that had been preached to them was being followed by the many people who came to encourage people to follow Jesus. Barnabas’ presence and message gave validity to what they had already heard. The consistency and faithfulness that Barnabas lived by continued to bring hope to the new believers as he continued to teach them more about Jesus.

We need to be able to convey the hope of Jesus for our day and time. The message of Jesus should be able to continue to bring hope to all people. That the creator of the universe loves us and wants to give us the freedom from our sins. To offer us the hope of forgiveness and redemption. To be able to create community that cares for and supports each other in with the grace of God. To continue to work in the redemption of creation. To be a blessing to friends and strangers

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