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Day 30 / 30.07.23 / Pastor Jeremy Seaward, Senior Overseer, Victory Family Centre

Day 30: The spirit of the Antioch Church

Acts 13:2-3 “While they were worshipping 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.”

In LoveSingapore, we have a conviction about blessing the nations, and Singapore’s role as an Antioch of Asia. Much has been said about our Antioch call as a nation. I believe in it, and we can already see how God is using Singapore as an influence to the nations, both naturally and spiritually. 

More important than the call to be an Antioch church, is the spirit of that Church. There was a certain attitude and mindset that enabled Antioch to impact nations through their simple obedience to God.

There are three things that represent the spirit of the Antioch Church. 

1. They had a Spirit of Surrender

The Bible says that this initial sending of Barnabas and Paul happened in the midst of praying and fasting. They were seeking God’s will. 

This was a church not caught up in getting more for themselves, but in giving more of themselves to God. 

God doesn’t need our talent or gifting, but what He does need is our surrender.

In this 40-day season, as we pray and seek God, this is what it’s about – to capture again that spirit of surrender and position ourselves so we can be a blessing to the nations. 

2. They had a Vision beyond Themselves

A church that blesses the nations is a church with a vision that is bigger than just themselves. 

The church in Antioch saw that there was something God wanted to do in other cities, nations and regions. It doesn’t mean God stopped moving in Antioch! They have a tremendous history and legacy. 

In the same way, God doesn’t want to stop moving in Singapore. But God has an agenda here in Singapore and also beyond our nation. It is not waiting to finish what God is doing in our churches before we catch a vision for the nations. 

Can we begin to ask the Lord to open our eyes and give us a vision beyond ourselves?

3. They had a Readiness to Respond to God’s Word

The most amazing thing to me about this church, and the spirit they operated in, is that they were ready to send Barnabas and Saul when God spoke. 

The moment God spoke, the church responded. And laid hands on them and sent them off – these amazing leaders and anchors of the Antioch church, two men that managed to propagate the Gospel throughout the known world. 

And yet they were willing to send them at the word of God. A church that blesses the nations is a church that is ready to respond to God’s word. When He speaks, we move, we act. Let’s ask God to give us that readiness. 

More important than the call to be an Antioch church, is the spirit of that Church.

Just as many years ago, we can see as God spoke to the Church in Singapore and our movement in LoveSingapore about the call to Love East Timor, many responded and we see God moving in that nation. 

Recently, God has been speaking to us about the Love Japan vision and moving in to see the transformation of Japan. But as He’s speaking, are we the ones that are ready to respond? 

I’m sure they had many questions but the important thing was not whether they had the answers; it was whether they were willing to say yes. 

The call to bless nations is not trying to prove we are an Antioch Church. It is carrying the same spirit that they carried – a spirit of surrender, a vision beyond themselves, and a readiness to respond to God’s word. 

May we carry that same spirit today. Let us pray:

Father, today we thank You that You are a God that is still moving in our hearts, still speaking to our lives. We thank You for Your call and the great legacy that You have given the Church at large in Singapore. 

But we believe there is more and that You have destined and called us to be a blessing to nations. We pray today that You would help us be the ones who have a spirit of surrender, willing to open up our hearts to Your word and Your presence. 

We pray that You would give us a greater vision beyond just a vision for ourselves and our Church and our nation, a vision for what is beyond what we’re encountering right now. We pray most of all that You give us that readiness to respond when You speak, that we would move and respond to You. 

Lord, we thank You for this work that You’re doing in our hearts today. We pray all this in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.

Download the PDF version of today’s devotional here.

/ Reflect
  • Have we surrendered our lives to God so that He can use us?
  • What vision might God have already given you for a people group, a nation or a region?
  • Are you willing to act when God speaks and as God guides?
/ Pray
  • Pray that God will so enlarge the vision of the Singapore Church beyond our immediate circumstances that we eagerly respond to, and rejoice in, God’s work among peoples and nations everywhere.
  • Pray for surrendered lives that seek His will above earthly gain. If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honour, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?” (David Livingstone)
  • Pray for our worship to be so soulful, so authentic, so transformative, that we long to share the Lord whom we worship with those who lack it. “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” (John Piper)