Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. Acts 11:25, 26.
Read Acts 11:22-30.
What happened next was very important. Barnabas witnessed the grace of God. This means that the work of the Lord was clearly seen in Antioch. However, Barnabas knew that sinners must not only come to the knowledge of Christ as the Saviour and be exhorted to cleave unto the Lord, but new believers also need more instruction in the truth as it is in the Lord Jesus. Have you seen that need? Do you also seek further instruction from God’s Word? A person who has been given new life, whether they are older or younger, not only requires further instruction but also desires this. That is one of the fruits of a true faith. The Lord has promised in His Word that He will direct and teach His people in the way that they must go (Ps. 32:8).
But who would do that very important work in Antioch? Barnabas felt insufficient for this. As a result, he travelled to Tarsus, the birthplace of Paul. This was no small journey. Tarsus lay at the foot of the mountains in Turkey, while Antioch was in Syria. However this distance was not an impediment to Barnabas. When he found Paul he brought him to Antioch. After calling the congregation together, the two servants of God gave them instruction from the Scriptures for a whole year. As a rich fruit of their labours the followers of Christ were first called Christians in Antioch. Was that not a great testimony of their faith?
Thought: A Christian is actually a living sacrifice of thanksgiving (Rom. 12:1,2).
Psalter 428: 2,3 (based on Psalm 119) O let Thy Spirit be my constant aid, That all my ways may ever be directed To keep Thy statutes, so to be obeyed, That from all error I may be protected. I shall not be ashamed then or afraid, When Thy commandments I have e’er respected. O Lord, how shall a youth preserve his way, At every turn by vanity surrounded? In truth, if he Thy statutes will obey, If on Thy Word his attitudes are founded. Thou whom I’ve sought, O let me never stray From Thy commandments, lest I be confounded.