October 11, 2022 — Barnabas came alongside of him; how about me?

“I was talking with a neighbor last night about his faith walk,” Stan commented one morning while we waited for breakfast.

“What about it?” I asked.

“He was saying,” Stan replied with a laugh, “that if there had been such an award, he probably would have received it for being the least likely person to become a disciple.”

“Least likely to become a disciple? How so?”

“His experience was kind of like mine,” Stan replied, “in that it took him a long time to come to faith. And when he finally did accept what God was offering — life eternally with Him, along with the eternal life of knowing Him and Jesus on this side of eternity — God brought a ‘Barnabas’ into his life.”

“A Barnabas?” I said. “What was that all about?”

“Quick re-cap,” Stan said. “I think you know the story about the conversion of Saul on the Road to Damascus.”

“Sure do,” I replied. “He was a misguided guy who later became known as ‘Paul.’ Jesus changed him from being a persecutor of Christians to being a Christian himself.”

“That’s right,” Stan said. “He became a Christian, but his role as a disciple was impacted greatly by Barnabas.”

“His role as a disciple? How so?”

“When Saul showed up in Jerusalem and wanted to get together with some of the disciples, they, not surprisingly, were afraid. They had heard all about how Saul had tried his best to get rid of Christians, and they suspected the worse of him.”

“Then what?”

“That’s were Barnabas got involved,” Stan replied. “Barnabas befriended Saul and took him to the other disciples and told them all about what had happened with Saul’s conversion.”

“And then Saul was accepted as a disciple by the others?” I asked.

“That’s it,” Stan replied. “Just imagine what might have happened if Barnabas had not responded to God’s encouragement to get involved with Saul. My neighbor said the same thing happened with him, not with a person actually named ‘Barnabas,’ but by a person acting like Barnabas.”

“Someone came alongside of him?” I asked.

“Seems so,” Stan replied. “My neighbor said that he had been about as far away from God as possible, but when he came to faith, God brought a disciple into his life, someone who was led by God to see what others could not or would not see.”

“Not see what?”

“Potential,” Stan responded. “Just like with my neighbor, there are a lot of people in the church who don’t look and act much like disciples, but God knows their hearts and how He wants to use them for His purposes. Seems to me that our role is to be a ‘Barnabas’ and come along side whoever God wants us to help by discipling them. Don’t look at them for how they were or are, but as how God knows they can and will be!”

“Be a disciple who is helping whoever God wants you to help in being a disciple,” I commented. “Is that it?”

“That’s it,” Stan replied. “I am to come alongside the people God brings into my life for His purpose or purposes. And I think the same thing applies to all of us!”


Bible verses to consider:

And when he (Saul/Paul) had come to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus. And he was with them moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. Acts of the Apostles 9:26-28.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the people you brought into my life to bring me to the truth of your salvation and redemption so I could accept it. Thank you, too, for the people you bring into my life to help me grow in my relationship with you as I pursue the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus for as long as you keep me on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I am not receptive to helping others you bring into my life. I do not go out of my way to help them in drawing closer to you. Please forgive that foolishness, and please help me to follow every step of your lead with every person you bring into my life for your purposes. Help me to focus on your purposes, not on mine that are apart from yours. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: If you are a Christian who is pursuing being a disciple, it is likely because God has brought people into your life for His purposes. Who were and who are those people? Have you thanked them for being responsive to what God had for them to do? How about thanking God for those people? When God brings people into your life for His purposes, do you respond to them the way God wants? If you sense the need for change in being a “Barnabas” in the lives of other people, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

2 thoughts on “October 11, 2022 — Barnabas came alongside of him; how about me?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s