Some of the believers who were scattered by the persecution which took place when Stephen was killed went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, telling the message to Jews only. But other believers, who were from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and proclaimed the message to Gentiles also, telling them the Good News about the Lord Jesus. The Lord's power was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. The news about this reached the church in Jerusalem, so they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw how God had blessed the people, he was glad and urged them all to be faithful and true to the Lord with all their hearts. Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and many people were brought to the Lord.
Reflection. We read previoulsy of Stephen and the persecution that followed his martyrdom. God still found a way to bless His faithful people. The Christian Community spread abroad (literally( from Jerusalem. Loads of people were coming to faith in Christ. Barnabus is sent to investigate and see what is happening. When he saw church growth, he was not jealous, he was glad. He encouraged the believers to keep at it. Many came to faith in Jesus. Not one. Many.
Often out of pain, if people remain faithful, we see real growth. No one is suggesting we go seeking painful times in our lives or in our churches. However, look out! The Holy Spirit may well use it to our benefit when we cling on to Jesus.
Prayer. Hold me close this day, my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.