FRIDAY, JANUARY 12
“And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians…So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea.”
Acts 11:26,29 ESV
Late one night, Nelda David was returning from Tyler, Texas to Dallas. She began to have car trouble and started frantically looking for a good place to pull off the street. She spotted a post office with a well-lighted parking lot and turned into it. Just as she stopped her car, a middle-aged man came out the door of the post office. She told him her problem and asked him to please help her. He told her he was sorry, but he was in a hurry, and he got in his car and drove off. As he pulled away she noticed the bumper sticker on his car. It read, “Jesus loves you and so do I.” At that moment she needed more than a bumper sticker.
Antioch was the third largest city in the Roman empire. They were infamous for almost anything associated with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. It might have been considered an ancient forerunner of Las Vegas. But it was also a very influential city in the world of business and politics. In the least likely of cities, God raised up a church of ordinary people who would eventually be the first ones to ever be called Christians. In its simplest form, Christian simply means a “Christ follower.” They were known by their actions to live like Jesus not only by their bumper stickers.
There is nothing wrong with bumper stickers. The problem is when we claim to be a Christian but our actions don’t reflect our profession. One example of the faith present among the Christians in Antioch was the generosity they showed toward other Christians. Phillips Brooks was a preacher in the mid to late 1800’s, and he is probably best known for authoring the Christmas carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” Phillips Brooks was asked what he would do to revive a dead church, and he replied, “I would take up a missionary offering!” There is something about being generous to others that can get your faith jump started.
Are you a bumper sticker only Christian or a do what you can Christian? What do you have the “ability” to give to bless someone else today? Give something to someone today in the name of Jesus.