His ministry was powered by the Holy Spirit and Faith. Barnabas was a man who believed God. He had faith that God would continue the work he had started, and he had faith that God could be trusted with the lives of these new believers. That faith, that confidence in God allowed Barnabas to encourage without badgering, and witness without threatening. Because of his obedience, God gathered more people to himself. Barnabas went because a number had turned to the Lord, now another great number of people were brought to the Lord. Barnabas needed help.
Making Disciples—Leaders Living Life with People Brings Growth
Barnabas sought out Saul to help nurture the new believers. It makes sense that Barnabas would seek Paul, who had already shown his passion for sharing Christ with his former zealot friends after his conversion, because
They lived there for a year, teaching and discipling. Barnabas and Paul helped the new believers to deepen their faith. They were dealing with a whole new group of people who had little to no Jewish background. These new Gentile believers needed to understand some of Judaism in order to understand Jesus and the significance his life and ministry carry.
Barnabas discipled Saul as they discipled the believers together. Not only were Barnabas and Paul teaching the new believers, but Barnabas was teaching Paul how to be an encourager. In reading the New Testament it is easy to see Paul’s passion for the gospel, his dedication to sound doctrine, and his desire to follow Christ. I believe that what we see in his letters to the churches, that encouraging tone—his thankfulness for their faith, his confidence in God at work—I believe all that is due to the critical time he spent with Barnabas building churches. Not only here in
The fruit was so evident in people’s lives, the called them Christ-ones, little Christ’sUp until this point, believers were Jews who happened to believe in Jesus as Messiah, Son of God, Saviour of the World. They were mostly Gentile believers. They needed a new name since they weren’t Jews.
Universal Scope—Caring for the Needs of Believers Worldwide
God warned them of a famine to come, not in their region, but in another place. Up until this time, believers cared for those in their immediate fellowship or gathering. They met whatever needs there were with their own people. Here we see them reach beyond their immediate group to believers who were far away.
Out of concern for their fellow believers, they gave according to their ability to help believers in
They sent the gift out to meet the need. They saw a need and decided to give, and they gave according to their ability. After they gathered their love gifts together, they sent Barnabas and Saul with the money to
I am encouraged by what God is doing in our church. I believe he is drawing people to himself in new ways. People who have been involved in our church for a long time are receiving a fresh enthusiasm. And we are seeing God at work drawing more people into our fellowship. I know God is at work in our midst. So what can we do to join him in his work? How can we participate with him in drawing people to Jesus? I believe it starts with faith. Remember Barnabas was filled with the Holy Spirit and Faith. It was that faith that allowed Barnabas to obediently do the things God asked of him, and let God take care of the rest. It was that faith that enabled him to seek help from Paul, to encourage the new believers, and in the end to release them to continue to grow without him. Participating in God’s work requires faith that God will accomplish his work. Another way we participate with God is simply by living our lives as a testimony to God at work within us. Remember that at
To join God in his work, to draw people to himself, we have to have faith, we have to be obedient and surrendered so that he can fill us with his spirit; so that he can develop in us his character; so that we can share his heart of mercy and compassion for others, including people outside our meeting.