THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18
Then Barnabas went on to Tarsus to look for Saul.
When he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. Both of them stayed there with the church
for a full year, teaching large crowds of people.
Acts 11:25-26 (NLT)
A THRIVING CHURCH IS ANCHORED IN GOD’S WORD
If you ever have the chance to visit the catacombs in Rome, those tunnels under the ancient city, where many of the early Christians were buried, you can see the symbols of faith on their tombs. Three common symbols appear: the dove, the fish, and the anchor. The dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit. The letters of the Greek word for “fish,” ichthus, stand for the words Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior. The anchor came from the idea that as Christians were going through difficult, insecure times, their hope anchored their souls. Besides, it also reminded them of their glorious expectation of eternal life. The anchor was a popular symbol in the early church. At least sixty-six pictures of anchors have been found in the catacombs. (Ysrael De La Cruz)
In Acts 11 Barnabas and Paul stayed with the church in Antioch for an entire year to teach them the Word of God and to help establish a firm foundation. The Bible is compared to milk for a newborn baby. 1 Peter 2:2-3 commands us, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” We will not mature spiritually without having regular Bible study as part of our spiritual diet.
Mike reminded us in the sermon that a thriving church is one that is anchored to God’s Word. We want to be a thriving church and that means we are committed to teaching God’s word in our large gathering but also committed to individual Bible study as well. If we compare the Bible to good healthy food, what might be some of the junk food you have been feeding your mind? What could you do to improve your spiritual diet?
Praise God for the gift of His Word and the life that it gives. Thank God for the pastors, small group leaders and children’s workers in our church who faithfully teach us God’s Word.