Passage: Acts 11:19~30  

Key verse: 20

1. Seeds scattered by persecution (19-21)

After Stephen's death, persecution of Christians intensified. They scattered, preaching the gospel wherever they went. God pushed them to obey his world mission command. Some who went to Antioch in Syria found prepared Gentile hearts. They preached the good news, and a great number of people believed.

2. The ministry of Barnabas (22-29)

Barnabas was a man with the heart of Jesus. He had eyes to see God's work in Antioch, and he encouraged the Gentile believers. He knew that they needed Bible study, so he went to Tarsus and got Saul. He could share a fruitful ministry with someone more able than himself. Together, he and Saul taught the Bible to them for a year, and God blessed their ministry. Perhaps it was Barnabas who taught them responsible stewardship and sacrificial giving (4:36-37), and planted in them (and in Paul) a sense of missionary responsibility. There the Christian church broke out of Judaism.

Prayer: Lord, help our church to be like the church in Antioch. Raise up men of encouragement and Bible teachers like Barnabas.

One Word: Marks of a missionary church