“The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.” Acts 11:21-22 NIV
The church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to help hold the young, growing church accountable.
The problem with accountability is that it must be intentional and preventative. It’s not going to happen without effort, and you’ve got to seek it out early!
So, if you don’t have a person or group with whom you can be accountable, find one.
“When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.” Acts 11:23 NIV
A simple test to know if someone needs encouragement: Are they breathing?!
We all need courage spoken into us. Let’s commit to being people who lift one another up through encouragement.
“Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch.” Acts 11:25-26a NIV
Barnabas went and found a partner. Why? Because following Jesus is better together!
We all must fight against the individualistic mindset of our culture because discipleship takes place in the context of community.
“So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” Acts 11:26b NIV
Barnabas and Saul together set about teaching and instructing the people.
If we are to grow into the mature disciples God desires us to be, we must know and learn how to apply the Scriptures. Each of us needs faithful instruction in God’s Word. It is the Word of God that collectively, shapes us, molds us, and commissions us for a life of serving!