“When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.”
Acts 11:23, NKJV
It says that Barnabas came and saw the grace of God. I wonder what the “grace of God,” looked like. Probably it would have had the earmarks of grace described in Scripture.
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.” (Titus 2:11-12) “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6) “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10)
Barnabas witnessed the grace of God in the Church at Antioch because he saw righteousness, humility and labors of love in the people of God. Grace is not simply an invisible blanket of God’s mercy that covers us when we sin. Grace is the visible empowerment of God to save us from sin.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
A life that is lived in the grace of God will be one that says no to unrighteousness, that is humble and that is able to accomplish more than anything we can do in our own human strength for the glory of God. As a believer, those looking on at our lives should be able to see the grace of God.
QUESTION: Can those around you see the grace of God? What does it look like?