When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart. Acts 11:23
He saw grace.
When he came to them, he saw the grace of God. Yes, he looked at the men and women who are faithful to the Way. Yes, he was welcomed by people loyal to the Lord. In fact, he encouraged them the remain that way in faithfulness. Yes, he saw the people of Antioch advancing the kingdom. In fact, one verse later, a large number of people were added to the Lord. However, when doctor Luke examined the eyes of Barnabas, his pupils reflected the grace of God.
The grace of God. The power to be faithful to the Lord, not the power of depending on oneself to follow him. The strength behind the loyalty more than the willingness to be loyal. The courage to proclaim and advance his kingdom further than the skills to do so. The passion to do what is right and good for others beyond what is expected from one another.
These people are far from being perfect. They just know how to yield to the God’s ever available grace. To be faithful, they depend on his grace. To forward his message, they rely on his grace. To be a growing church, they get that from grace. To receive into their hearts the Apostles’ teachings, they tap on his grace. To act upon the Apostles’ letters and words in their daily lives, they call upon his grace.
May the Barnabas of our lives, see the same grace. That when they look at your church or your prayer group, their eyes will behold the grace of God. You may struggle. You may have difficulty. You may have heavy trials. You may have usual or unusual challenges. But God’s grace is always available. Depend on it. Be firm with it. Be strong with it.
Let them see God’s grace.