Acts 11:19-21 “And the hand of the Lord was with them...”
By: Billy Bernhard, Lead Pastor, Acts Community Church
April 6, 2018
We are in great need of God’s hands on our life, family, church, communities, cities, and nation. The brokenness, darkness and lost condition of this generation seems only to worsen. Acts 1:8 is very clear that God will empower His people to be witnesses when they share the Gospel not only to Jerusalem and Judea, but also Samaria and to the ends of the earth. The majority of God’s people, I believe, long for revival, long to be empowered by God the Spirit, and long to see the hand of God on their life in such away that it causes many to turn to Jesus in their community and city. Acts 11 is a great place for us to see an example of this.
In Acts 10, Jesus rebukes Peter for not grasping that the Gospel and God the Spirit is not just for the Jews, but the Gentiles also. In Acts 11, Peter gives reports to the counsel of what Jesus showed him. Leading to show the down in Acts 11:19. There was a group of men who had been “scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen” and “traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except the Jews”. This is tragic family. These men would only share Jesus to those who looked like them, thought like them, and believed like them. Scripture will never mention these men again. God’s hand was not on them. Family, if we truly want to experience revival, being filled daily with the power of the Holy Spirit, and experience God’s hand on our life, then we must be willing to share the GOSPEL TO ALL PEOPLE! We cannot not let race, politics, economics, convenience, or anything else hinder us from sharing to ALL PEOPLE.
Acts 11:20-21 is one of the most beautiful two verses in all the Bible. There were some men from Cyrus (Greek, European) and Cyrene (Africa) that upon coming to Antioch, they shared the Gospel to ALL THE PEOPLE. These men of different races had the heart beat of God. God saw these men sharing to all people and in verse 21, the Scriptures tells us, “AND THE HAND OF THE LORD WAS WITH THEM”. What happened? Revival! A great number turned to Jesus and the church of Antioch was birthed and planted! This Church in Acts 13 would send out the greatest church planter of all time, the Apostle Paul. Man cannot dictate revival. What we can do is be faithful to God and make sure we are doing things that gets His heart beating, such as sharing the love of Jesus Christ to all people and making ALL PEOPLE FEEL LOVED AND WELCOMED IN OUR CHURCHES. Do you share Jesus to all people? Do you have 5 unchurched people that you are intentionally sharing Jesus with? Do you allow race, politics, ideology, and convenience to hinder you from loving and sharing Jesus with all people? It’s the men of Acts 11:20-21 who are remembered throughout Scripture and saw a mighty Revival, not the men of Acts 11:19.
Lord Jesus, forgive us when we have allowed race, preferences, politics, ideologies or anything else to hinder us from sharing your Gospel message to all people. Father, help us to have your heart beat and your love for all people no matter what. Holy Spirit, please empower us to be your witnesses not only in our backyard, but to the ends of the earth. Lord, we desperately need revival and for your hands to be upon our lives, families, churches, communities, cities, and our nation. Lord, let us see your glory fall out all over our land. However you choose to use us, we will submit. We just wanna say thank you! In Jesus name Amen!