Acts 9:26-28 26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.
Saul was a bad man! He didn’t just make some bad life choices, he was trying to kill the followers of Christ. So it was natural the the disciples were a bit leery of letting him join their group. What if he was just pretending so that he could get in and kill them all? What if he was an imposter who was trying to ruin their calling? These were legitimate concerns; Saul came to Jerusalem on a mission to destroy the early church. In the midst of his journey, though, he had an encounter with Jesus, who changed his life forever. Yes, his life took a 180. He went from a church destroyer to a church builder. His message of destruction turned into a message of hope. How do you trust someone like that? How do you know if they’ve really changed? The disciples weren’t sure and pushed him away. But Barnabas…
Those two words changed the course of history. Those two words were the catalyst that was responsible for the gospel spreading to the Gentile world. Those two words opened a door for a ministry and a minister that would write much of the New Testament. Yes, two words: “but Barnabas.” You see, when everyone else was uncertain, Barnabas took a chance on Saul. He saw something in him that others didn’t see. He looked beyond Saul’s past and into his future. He separated his emotion from the fear and listened to the Spirit of God within him. He recognized that this man on a mission to kill was truly changed. But Barnabas.
Maybe you have had a Barnabas in your life – someone who believed in you when no one else did. They saw in you potential that maybe even you didn’t see. They contended for God’s plan for your life and called you to higher places. We all need a Barnabas, don’t we? So who needs you? There is someone today that needs you, Barnabas. He needs someone to believe in him, because he is getting discouraged. She needs someone to mentor her and help her walk away from the destructive choices she is making. Who will answer the call to do for Saul what Barnabas did? Someone is waiting, friends.
*Challenge for the day:
1. Contact your Barnabas. Who believed in you? Thank them today and let them know that you are grateful for their voice in your life.
2. Be a Barnabas. Ask God who He is calling you to. Believe in someone and help release God’s calling on their life.