The Antioch Church - Christian Daily Devotions - April 10 2006

The Antioch Church - Verse of the Day :
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 11:26

Daily Bible Reading Plan

Morning : Acts 11

Evening : Judges 13-14

The Antioch Church

They city of Antioch is 480km north of Jerusalem. In the days of the Roman Empire, it was the third largest and third most important city after Rome and Alexandria. It had one of the most important ports in the world, and it was the communication center for the entire empire.

As a very modern city during its time, Antioch had magnificent buildings, theaters and forums. The people were highly educated and spoke Greek fluently.

However, the Antioch church was a relatively young congregation. The concept of missions was a very new and novel idea. Yet in one generation, the Antioch church practically changed the entire Gentle world. How could one church do so much for world missions? There are five reasons:

(1) The church in Antioch had a deep spiritual hunger for God. They were strong in prayer and the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:1-4). There was a strong passion for spiritual revival.

(2) The Antioch church excelled in discipleship. A disciple is a thoroughly trained worker with a great attitude. Discipleship takes time. It took Paul and Barnabas one whole year of teaching and imparting to train the believers in the church.

The result of that discipleship is that the members of the church started talking like Jesus, thinking like Jesus, acting like Jesus, working like Jesus, and living like Jesus. They were so indentified with Christ that, for the first time in history, the public started calling them "Christians" (11:26).

(3) The church in Antioch was a very giving church. They were generous with both their financial and human resources. They gave sacrificially for the relief work in Judea (11:29). They were quick to send out workers into the mission field whenever the Holy Spirit directed them (13:2-3).

(4) The Antioch church worked as a team. They sent out missionaries in teams that often comprised of both church workers and volunteers.

(5) The church in Antioch really supported and cared for their missionaries. Whenever Paul and his team returned from a missionary journey, the entire congregation would shower love and care upon them (14:27-28).

Those five ingredients will turn any local congregation into a strong missions church. Be a mighty soul winner for the glory of Jesus!

April 10 - The Antioch Church - Christian Daily Devotions

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