then they passed through pisidia and came to pamphylia. and when they had spoken the word in perga, they went down to attalia, and from there they sailed to antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. and when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the gentiles. and they remained no little time with the disciples. [acts 14:24-28]


life in community.

at this time in his life, antioch was home for paul. the church that had sent he and barnabas out on their missionary journey was located there. his brothers and sisters in Christ were there.

and now paul and barnabas are blessed with the opportunity to return home after months of traveling, preaching, leading, shepherding, and evangelizing… months of intense persecution… and months of seeing the move of God first hand.

sure, paul was obviously passionate about sharing the gospel, but i can only imagine his excitement about coming back home and sharing all that had happened, being cared for, loved, and encouraged.

what a blessing each of our homes are. a place where we can rest, be cared for, loved well, learn, grow, and then go back out from… whether on a missionary journey, work, school, sports, friend groups, and wherever else the Lord calls.

home is much more about the community around you than it is about a place. maybe you live far away from your family; antioch was not where paul grew up. maybe you’ve spent much of your life thinking that you don’t need community. however, the bible is clear on the importance of biblical community in many places, one of which comes in hebrews 10:24-25:

[24] and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, [25] not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

today, may we give thanks to God for our homes. for the community of believers in our lives that he has blessed us with. whether it’s your family, lot family, a group of friends, your spouse…and if community is something you realize you may not have, this is your opportunity to take that to the Lord as well.

john sandman