Acts 11:19-30; Joshua 13-14; Job 27
As the gospel spread, a pocket of Christians in a town called Antioch got noticed. Cornelius was one person and he had a background of supporting the Jewish people; in Antioch the majority of the church was of Gentile background. The church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to check it out. More people came to faith in Christ and Barnabas needed help, so he went and got Saul to help. “Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” (Acts 11:25-26) Together the two of them helped the church grow numerically and spiritually. The local people came up with a name for this group. It was, perhaps, meant to mock them. The people of Antioch thought “They talk so much about Christ. They act so much like Christ. They must be ‘little Christs,’” or Christians. Rather than feeling mocked by the name the Christians embraced the recognition that they followed Jesus. The name stuck. As we think about that situation, what would happen today? Do people recognize the fact that I follow Jesus that much in my life? Would people look at me and say, “Oh, he’s so much like Christ, let’s call him a little Christ?” Is my life so different from the world I live in that my commitment to Christ merits the attention even in a mocking way, or have I done such a good job of blending in with society that people accept what I say without really letting it make an impact?
Dear God, may I live so much in obedience to You that people would see the difference You make in my life. May I be so in tune with Your will that people recognize my love for You. Most of all Lord, may my life and my words show the kind of difference that draws people to Your love and Grace.