You need a Barnabas and You need to Be A Barnabas
Would Paul have had the same impact had it not been for Barnabas? The Damascus dust may still have been on Paul’s sandals. Paul’s murderous threats toward those of the Way were still a fear-filled reality when Barnabas took Paul to the apostles, but Barnabas vouched for the truthfulness of his testimony (Acts 9:26,27). He didn’t have to vouch for Paul, but his act of encouragement provided a necessary link between Paul and the fulfillment of his calling. Several years later, Barnabas was prompted by the Holy Spirit to look for Paul (Acts 11:25). No doubt the Damascus Road testimony had been forgotten by most, but not by Barnabas.
Barnabas, in keeping with his name, always seemed to be looking for someone to encourage. The tentmaker from Tarsus had seemingly been overlooked by the established church and bypassed for any “meaningful” ministry assignments. But because of Barnabas’ influence, the Antioch church found a place for Paul and helped him develop trusting relationships and a respected teaching ministry (Acts 11:26; 13:1,2). This was not the only time Barnabas took such an initiative. Remember John Mark? (Acts 15:37) Regardless of the baggage or failure from the past, Barnabas was there to be that “son of exhortation.”
How many of us need a modern-day Barnabas to come alongside to promote our ministries? How many ministers sit dejected on the sidelines because of a failure? Their church didn’t grow. The vote was not strong enough to stay. The program was a disaster. A marriage or family relationship disintegrated. Where is that brother or sister to look for the forgotten, to believe in the divine call, to hope for the best? The 21st century needs larger numbers of Barnabas-minded people. Deserting the call God has placed on our lives is pandemic.
Seek out a Barnabas. Then BE a Barnabas to someone else. The challenge is before us. Scan your environment for the overlooked, the rejected, the discouraged and disheartened, the ones who were passed by. Seek to be a Barnabas. Retaining and encouraging Christians will certainly help reverse the trend of declining numbers in churches.
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