Responding To A New Baby
Mary and I went to a wedding Sunday afternoon. We’ve known the groom since before he was born and his bride since before she entered Middle School. When the preacher mentioned that the audience had known this day was coming for a long time, everyone laughed. They laughed again when in his wedding sermon he mentioned that the Lord might bless them with a lot of babies.
This spontaneous response to the possibility of fruitfulness is totally in line with God’s command in Genesis 1 for married couples to have sex and multiply. When a young married couple discovers they’re expecting a baby, it should be pure joy.
How should established churches respond when the proclamation of the truth about Jesus starts to multiply and new churches are born in their area? How did the Jerusalem mother church respond when the Spirit of God used just ordinary believers to generate a new multi-racial church, and this new church started to become the launching pad for Jesus to reach the world?
“Now when the news came to the Jerusalem church that large numbers were turning to God and believing in Jesus in Antioch, they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw God’s grace, he rejoiced and was exhorting all of the new believers to be firm in purpose, remaining committed to the Lord. Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith. Large numbers continued to be added to the church by the Lord.” Acts 11:22-24
Right now Mary and I are involved with two new churches struggling to get going. Both have received guidance, support, and encouragement from more mature churches. In fact, one of the marks that an older church is alive is that it rejoices, like Barnabas, when it sees God’s grace at work and it sends some of its most gifted mature members to nurture the new baby.
LORD, just as you used Barnabas, a mature Jerusalem believer, to steady the new work in Antioch, I pray that you would bring Barnabas-like encouragers to the two new baby churches who are right now struggling to get on their feet.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!
You can also listen to weekly messages from Dave on OnePlace.com.