‘When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad…’ Acts 11.23
The person in question was Barnabas, who had been sent by the apostles to ascertain the truth behind some stories of Gentiles turning to Christ. We are not sure what he was expecting, but when he saw what God had been doing 'he was glad'.
Barnabas could have reacted in any number of ways. He might have been offended that God would choose to work outside the Jewish community, envious that God was not working in such a powerful way through him or sceptical that the people didn’t really understanding what was going on. Instead of this, Barnabas was glad.
Sometimes it’s good to think about our reaction to the things God does, both in our own lives and for others. Wouldn’t it be good if our natural reaction was like Barnabas - to be glad and rejoice at the grace of God?
Perhaps it is only when we have a real appreciation of God's grace at work within us that we can truly rejoice in the grace he shows to others. Take a moment to ponder God’s grace to you: he has forgiven you, not because you deserve it but because of his grace; he is faithful to you, not because you are faithful to him but because of his amazing grace.
Rather than simply letting these truths wash over you, let the truth of them touch you - and be glad.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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