Jan 31, 2018
So far, we’ve seen Peter and John get arrested and flogged, Ananias and Sapphira be struck dead, Stephen end up stoned to death, and the church get scattered because of intensified persecution. Now, we’re going to hear about a famine in the land. Not exactly a walk in the park. But through it all, we have also seen God’s hand at work, spreading the gospel and growing His church. It’s so easy to look at the less-than-pleasant circumstances of life and assume that God is nowhere to be seen. We can not only doubt His presence, but question His love and care for us. But if there is one consistent theme in the Book of Acts, it is that God is at work, all the time and in every situation, no matter how grim or unpleasant they may appear. In Acts 11:19-30, we are going to see the method to God’s seeming madness as He introduces His chosen instrument, Saul, to the city of Antioch. God had divinely orchestrated the friendship between Barnabas and Saul some years earlier and neither knew what He had in store for them in the days that lie ahead. But they would find out. These two men would become close friends and intimate partners in the mission of taking the gospel to the Gentiles. And we will see that God’s choice of Saul had been anything but a fluke. He was well equipped and had been powerfully prepared by God during the nine years since his conversion. God’s plan had been perfect and His timing, spot on.