23 when he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. and a great many people were added to the Lord. [acts 11:23-24]
this was a full-fledged revival.
the death of stephen, meant to quell the growth of the faith, and serve as an example for all those who would follow Christ, had accomplished exactly the opposite. not only had the faith kept going, the faith was now exponentially growing.
there is an unspeakable beauty in seeing God do what only God can do.
barnabas was made glad by seeing the grace of God in action. he had been sent from jerusalem to see if what they had heard about the church growing was true. indeed, it was, and to say that he was ‘glad’ is probably an understatement.
antioch was roughly 300 miles north of jerusalem, and to travel there on foot would have taken a couple of weeks. but aside from the distance, antioch was not difficult to get to. it sat on a major trade route, making antioch a city of prosperity diversity. the explosion of faith there must have been utterly amazing to observe.
I pray daily for such a revival in our city.
that we would also faithfully encourage others, that we would be glad in what God is doing among us, and that we too would daily understand what it is to be filled with the Holy Spirit, serving God and being mindful of what He is doing in and around us.
~ jason soroski