BIBLE READING: ACTS 11
19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.
20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.
21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
This passage gives us the Biblical plan to powerful, evangelistic outreach. It is nothing that we have not heard and are familiar with. The problem is that we normally leave one of the ingredients out. Consider with me:
19) “preaching the Word”
20) “preaching the Lord Jesus”
21) “great number believed”
21) “great number….turned unto the Lord”
We need to be faithful to preach the Word, preach the Lord Jesus, and the results we want from that are for a great number of people to believe and turn to the Lord. People aren’t going to believe in the Lord, and turn to the Lord, if we are not preaching the Word, and preaching Christ. We all agree on that. However, there is one ingredient that, if missed, will prevent a great number from believing and turning. In verse twenty-one, it is possibly the most important ingredient:
* “the hand of the Lord was with them”
How often we try to do the other ingredients without this one. It just does not work without the power of God. Now, when we are saved, the Lord is always with us. But in this passage, it uses the term, “hand of the Lord was with them”. This is a reference to the supernatural power that God gives. Often when attempting to “reach” or “preach”, we have not prayed, purified, or prepared. We do it in our own ability and in our own flesh. We think because were preaching the right thing that that is enough. I am here to tell you today that we need to preach the right thing, and teach the right thing, but we must have the hand of the Lord with us. We must acknowledge to the Lord our complete reliance on His power, our commitment to access it, and our admittance that there is no hope without it.
Is the hand of the Lord with you today?