The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
// Acts 13:44
Generosity in every area of our life is quite easy when we realize, and truly have a revelation of how generous God has been towards us through His Son, Jesus Christ. The revelation of giving -- financially, of our time, emotions, attitudes, thoughts, words and actions -- flows out of the revelation of God’s grace towards our lives. If we live out of this place, I have no doubt NYC will want to hear about this good news called the grace of Jesus Christ. This is what happened in Paul’s time, for they were so overwhelmed with God’s generous grace towards them that they poured out their whole lives to spread this message. This is our prayer at C3 Brooklyn, that we also would pour out our lives in all areas as a reaction to the generous grace God has given us.
Paul & Barnabas were preaching the word at Antioch, an area that was mostly filled with Gentiles. They came with a message of radical freedom, a message of grace, that was so offensive to the religious people in the city, many could not stand to hear it. It offended people that thought they were saved by their own righteousness. Paul came with a message of grace that says you can be free from everything, simply by believing in a man: Jesus.
Check out their message in Acts 13:39, it’s crazy:
“and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.”
Free from everything? Free from every sin? Free from every addiction? Free from every fear? And just by believing in Jesus?
This message was so offensive that the religious crowd could not handle it, as was foretold by the prophets; those that sought righteousness through the law turned their backs on this foolish message of grace. However, those that were desiring true freedom, that were thirsty, parched, dry, hungry for more than the here-and-now, asked to hear this message again the following weekend.
Word spread and the Bible tells us that almost the whole city came out to hear this crazy, beautiful message of grace. The message was, simply, “believe in Jesus & what He has done; therein lies the freedom for your whole life.” In our worlds, in our churches, in our lives, have we made it more complicated than this, for the city to find their Freedom?
The city desires grace. The city will come to grace. How generous are we with the grace of God given to us? Grace is given to be given.
// Josh Kelsey