Today’s Reading: Acts 11:1-30
There are principles for living out our faith visibly and deliberately. This should be done in the context of daily living. And that is where I want to focus our attention today.
When you hear someone call himself or herself a Christian what comes to your mind? What beliefs, convictions, or lifestyles become visible across the screen of your thinking? How do you define what a Christian is? After the images and the defining, would you define yourself as a Christian and if so how does anyone know you are one?
Barnabas shows us a little of what a dynamic follower looks like – He always encourages.
In Acts Chapter 9 we meet up with Barnabas again. A man named Saul had experienced a radical conversion, this man who once had persecuted and executed Christians had now become a Christian himself, but he was having a little trouble gaining acceptance among his former enemies.
Saul the former Christian Killer was being shunned by the church, but Barnabas, the encourager, takes him by the hand and brings him to the leaders and says let me tell you about the change in my brother Saul. A true friend sees good in us that others can’t. They encourage others by saying, “I believe in you”
In Acts chapter 11 news has come to the church leaders that revival has broken out in Antioch–people are becoming Christians. The Apostles know just the guy to send down there to encourage the new believers.
Barnabas works for the success of others. Saul had been out of the picture for about 9 years but Barnabas needed help in leading the new church at Antioch and he goes looking for Saul and he trains him to be a church leader. At the end of the year at Antioch the pair head out on a missionary journey and the Scripture refers to them as Barnabas & Saul, but at some point along the way Saul gets a name change and from then on it’s Paul & Barnabas. Barnabas has trained Saul so well that he surpasses him in leadership, and Barnabas cheers him on.
As good friends, we need to be overjoyed when our help and support plays a part in the success of another. Ronald Reagan once said there’s no limit to what we can accomplish if we don’t care who gets the credit. We need to be friends who work for the success of others.