Day 19

Paul and Barnabas in Antioch

from the Acts reading plan

Acts 13:1-52, Isaiah 49:6, Galatians 3:10-14

BY Bailey T. Hurley

I was sitting in a circle of women discussing the topic: why is it important to read our Bible? There were a variety of answers like “knowing God more” and “having consistent disciplines.” But one gal responded: “I feel like I am not a good friend if I have not spent time in God’s Word. If a friend needs a wise word of advice, how am I going to serve her well if I cannot speak God’s Truth over her? If a friend is going through a tough time, how can I encourage her without being familiar with the Word of God? I want to be someone who is so fully-immersed in the Bible that speaking the gospel over my friends is providing exactly what they need in the situation.” 

This response really stuck with me. Not only was I convicted, but I wondered how I could serve others better if I rehearsed the gospel more often. 

Paul is a master at rehearsing the story of salvation and sharing it with large crowds of people. He is able to recount the history of God’s people, recite Old Testament scriptures from memory and clearly communicate the message of salvation in Jesus. So, when Paul and Barnabas are called on to speak a “word of encouragement” (Acts 13:15) to the people in Antioch, they are prepared. 

Our encouragement should come from the story of God and our salvation in Jesus. God’s saving power is what gives us reason to rejoice just as the people of Antioch rejoiced that day: “They rejoiced and honored the Word of the Lord, and all who had been appointed to eternal life believed” (v.48). Yet, this picture of Paul and Barnabas bringing the gospel to the people of Antioch feels so far from my personal experience. My level of “gospel fluency” (a term coined by author Jeff Vanderstelt) is severely lacking. Like becoming fluent in a foreign language, to be “gospel fluent” is to be able to interpret all of life through this new lens. 

Post Comments (42)

42 thoughts on "Paul and Barnabas in Antioch"

  1. Mary Snyder says:

    18 ¶ “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

    God called Israel to not only read the Word of God and to know the Word of God, but to treasure it. In the same way, we should love God’s word and miss it when we are separated from the Word of God. We should call it to mind with longing, having laid it up in our heart and soul.

  2. Sky Hilton says:

    @ Michelle, I am praying for you!

    I am seeking to be converted to Catholicism soon.. both my mom and sister struggle with faith. Both of them have doubted God before. They don’t really fully believe like I do, and my mom has doubted if God even exists. Its hard to be the only one of faith sometimes in the family to be honest… sometimes we just wish to get someone to believe in a moment.. but it is not our duty to get someone to believe. We have to leave that up to God. All we can do is pray, and trust that God IS working!! Everything will be alright in time! Don’t give up!

  3. Sky Hilton says:

    This section of Acts really spoke to me. It made me really sad to see Elymas trying to turn the deputy from the faith. It reminds me of American culture today. It turns so many people away from the faith, and so many people who do turn away for life miss out on a beautiful relationship with Jesus. Religion should be more respected, and our amazing savior deserves respect as well. However, it turned out to be a happy ending, as the deputy encountered the power of the Lord, and turned back and believed! When you encounter God like this, you have to believe! I pray for more people to encounter God in their own way, and turn back!

    It was amazing to see Paul and Barnabas never giving up on preaching the word of God after they were kicked out of the coasts. I wish so many people had that level of perseverance.. so many people are ready to give up on faith forever at the slightest inconvenience.. but everyone should be reminded that God is with them!

    So if someone is trying to turn you from the faith- or if life is just treating you badly, turn to Jesus and cling to Him, no matter how hard it is!

  4. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I want to be a part of spreading God’s good news to the ends of the earth. I pray that I would become more gospel fluent, so that I can share Jesus whenever I have the opportunity. Have a great Friday ladies!!

  5. Traci Gendron says:

    Thank you Michelle for your continued prayers. ❤️ Sharon thank you too!! ❤️

  6. Foster Mama says:

    Prayer request: I am struggling a bit re: how to still be a “nice girl” but, not a doormat (I’m getting tired)…and to discern when / how to act and when to (as ERB said) “get out of the way and LET God do His thing!”

    I am loving and going through all the comments from yesterday and today. More comments to come…

  7. Traci Gendron says:

    I was raised Catholic and didn’t really understand God’s word until I went to BSF. It was an intense study, but I loved it. I’m so thankful for SRT. It has helped me to stay in His Word daily. I still feel like an immature christian. I have trouble with memorization. But Bailey’s words spoke volumes to me. I want to be so fully-immersed in the Bible that speaking the gospel over my friends is providing exactly what they need in the situation. I need to be more diligent. I get up look at my emails, social media, then finally onto SRT. I’m not a morning person and my excuse has been that I need to “wake up”. I want to give to God first. I just need the discipline. Like Taylor, I wish to get up early and dive into His word. Then I want to have it lead me through my day. All the comments were so good today! Thank you

  8. Michelle Patire says:

    Michelle Hart- praying you trust the Lord’s leading and have confirmations of where He is sending you next. He is making a path in the wilderness ❤️

    Traci -Continued prayers for Tanner to have a renewed Spirit, this weekend. May he see the Lord ever before him.

    Praying today for my youngest sister, Bernadette. I trust God will save her, but it breaks my heart to hear her unbelief. She’s 18. She says she wants to seek faith for herself, but I don’t see the seeking. I know I don’t see her heart, like God does. I know He is so patient. Like He was with me, at that age. My sister is a lot like me, I think, which frightens me but also, she seems to have more discernment and guidance than I did at that age.
    I pray she understands the true gospel, not a gospel of works. We grew up Catholic and I’ve seen some of my family struggle with works vs faith. I pray that my sister knows God as her loving father and Savior. That God’s love is so much more than any young man could ever give her. That is merely a shadow of God’s love. Lord, please touch her heart and help her know you care for a deep relationship with her.

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