Antioch Devotionals- Feb. 17-21

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17TH John 13:34-35
By Toya Aultman
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” -John 13:34-35

The Merriam Webster dictionary gives us the definition of "white hot" as: radiating white heat, extremely hot, exhibiting or marked by extreme fervor or zeal. While the Cambridge Dictionary gives a sentence using the word: "White-hot metal is so hot it is giving out a white light."
By those definitions alone, one would know, either by feeling or seeing, something that is white hot if they're anywhere close. That struck me in the sermon when Jason said the Christians at Antioch's passion was so bold that it burned white hot to share the Gospel with others. Can you imagine your passion for God being so strong, so bold, that others would just feel it or see it by being in your very presence?
Oh that the Antioch Church in Conway, AR could catch such passion! What would happen to Faulkner County if the "Christians" here caught the zeal, the passion, the extreme fervor of love for God and others? Today, who in your church family can you show love to? They may be in your Sunday School class, your Connect Group, a Bible Study class, someone you sit near in services, or perhaps someone even in your own home. Take the time today, this week, and allow the love of God to fill you so you can be known as a "Christ-ian" and those around you can feel the white hot passion burning within you and see the Light shining through! Surely this is how the world will see Christ, through our love for one another. Go shine white hot, Antioch!!
Father, thank You for the blessing of being a part of this amazing church. The unity here comes from You and You alone. Help us to never take that for granted! Guide us in our priorities and preferences knowing the things of this earth will quickly fade, but Your love and the way we share it here on this earth will last for all eternity! Amen.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 18TH Psalm 134:23-24
Shortcomings by Paula McKee

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 134:23-24

I often feel self-satisfied when it comes to my faith. I SHOULDN’T. That gives Satan a door of opportunity. In the small things, I am vulnerable to attack. Psalm 134 reminds me NOT to be complacent. For example, I’ve never put a fish shape on the back of my car because I’m an aggressive driver. I look for opportunities to change lanes and get ahead of other cars like it’s a competition. I think aggravated thoughts about drivers who slow me down. Seems like a harmless thing, right? BUT, what kind of witness does my driving reveal to others?
 People who know me know what I profess with my mouth, but what do my ACTIONS say? Small thing, right?  Potential big impact?  Absolutely.  I’m going to get a fish, put it on my car, and let it remind me each time I drive that my actions are a witness for Christ.
Small things matter. Daily reflection matters. Pray for me.  
Dear Heavenly Father, help me to remember that in ALL I do, I have the potential to influence others to come to know your Son Jesus as their Savior. Help me never to forget to guard my heart so that Satan can’t get a foothold. It’s in Jesus’ Holy Name I pray. Amen.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19TH Hebrews 11:6 & 13 (NIV)
Under The Circumstances by Chris Blacksmith

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. ...All these were still living by faith when they died.  They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.”  - Hebrews 11:6 & 13

A common response used in small talk is, “I’m fine under the circumstances”.  It’s one of those statements that simply cries out I’m handling the stressors of life on my own.  Have you really considered why we tend to live under those conditions?  Everyone mentioned in Hebrews 11 had a commonality, they all lived by faith and they all looked beyond this life to what awaited them in eternity. If our lives are going to be marked by the evidence of Christ we will have to follow the advice mentioned in these verses.  We must live by faith and we must look beyond not only our circumstances but more importantly this life for our strength.  “Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.”  When you stand on the promises of God you will be less likely to find yourself living under the circumstances.

By Jeff Rice
“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."  So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.”- Acts 13:2

The next time the church at Antioch is mentioned after our Sunday Morning passage in Acts 11 is Acts 13. Here Antioch is the sending church of Barnabas and Paul on their first missionary journey. This passage gives us a vision of the role of a local body of believers. It has been said that the effectiveness of a church is not its attendance, the number of programs it offers, or the size of its budget. What makes a church effective is its willingness to go and send. It’s not y’all come but y’all go. A church will fulfill the mission and vision of God when people are going and making disciples of all nation tribes and tongues. What is the application? As the local church is commissioned so is every individual believer who makes up that church. The mission is not to go.  We are all going.  Most would say we go too much.  The mission is as we go - make disciples.  As we go, share the good news of Jesus Christ to people who are lost.  It should be more than just inviting them to church (nothing wrong with this), but it should be about actively sharing our testimony with others and inviting them to a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  It is about coming along side new believers and disciple them so that they can become goers as well.  Lord, help our Antioch Baptist Church be like the Antioch of the 1st century, and give us as its members the vision, the power, and the passion to be an active part of a church that goes and sends.

Vision 2020 ANTIOCH  by Paulette Herring

In Acts 11:19-30 we read about a city called Antioch.  Persecution broke out after Stephen was killed so missionaries traveled to other cities to spread the Word of God.  Some went to Antioch and spoke to Greeks as well as Jews.  As word spread Barnabas was sent from the church in Jerusalem to Antioch.  He stopped by Tarsus to pick up Paul and they stayed a year teaching and preaching.  Acts 11:26 says that disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.
Our church called Antioch began in 1925 and it is 95 years old.  We are people of faith with a vision.  We are bound by love and unity as in 1 Corinthians 13.  We need to be bold in witness and pray always for the unsaved.  When we are bound in unity with one accord, an attack from the outside cannot smash the inside.
This week pray for our church called Antioch.