Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greek also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.
News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.
Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.
During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) The disciples each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. This they did, sending their gifts to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.
Caring for one another during a time of need, the fellowship of believers are doing what we now look to the government to do. And in that move, the government takes on the position of provider and develops god-like qualities in the minds of the general population. Believers are no exception in many ways, putting more faith in the government and mankind to provide what they should be looking to God for. Here we see the teachings of Christ in action as they care for one another as they are prompted by the Holy Spirit. Where are we today? Do we put our expectations, faith, trust in God and look for ways to provide for each other in the fellowship of believers? Or do we look to our government to provide and complain when they do not satisfy our expectations? If that is the case, have we left the faith we profess to have in God to provide for us. He can use any means to provide, but where do we look expecting help? Do we look to the hills, Capital Hill, or do we put our trust in the Lord?