I don’t believe I’d ever given much thought to a guy in the Bible named Barnabus. Specifically, he shows up in the book of Acts and his real name is Joseph– Barnabus is a nickname he picked up from the disciples. This may be conjecture on my part, but I imagine he probably preferred that they not call him Barney.
The name Barnabus means “son of encouragement.” In other words, this guy was such an encourager, that’s how people came to identify him.
He’s the one who introduced Paul to the world. Paul had been a fanatical Pharisee who hunted down and persecuted Christians, even going so far as to have some of them killed, before his own conversion on the road to Damascus.
Barnabus was the first one to look past Paul’s past and to believe in his potential, to see a future that perhaps even Paul couldn’t yet see for himself.
We’ve all needed a Barnabus in our lives at times. We needed someone to speak a word of encouragement and to believe for us when we couldn’t believe in ourselves.
Could it be that God might actually be calling us to be a Barnabus to someone else? Could it be that we could speak gospel encouragement into someone else’s life?
It may seem like a small thing, but it could be life from the dead for someone who needs it. It could be what inspires the next missionary or preacher or evangelist. Or maybe even the next Apostle Paul.
I love my God, but with no love of mine for I have none to give; I love Thee, Lord, but all that love is Thine, for by Thy life I live. I am as nothing, and rejoice to be emptied and lost and swallowed up in Thee” (Madame Guyon).
I still can’t believe that it’s October, much less over halfway through the month.
I know that this is my absolute favorite time of the year, starting with Halloween and leading up to Christmas and New Year’s, but sheesh! Slow down already! I need to have time to process all that’s coming up on the calendar.
When I was a kid, I never understood when old people (probably anything older than 30 for a 10 year old kid) talked about how fast time flies. It seemed like once the holiday season started, it took FOREVER to get to Christmas.
Now I barely have time to appreciate the wonder of Advent before it’s all over and January arrives. I guess that makes me one of those old people.
So maybe I’ll make it my goal to not worry so much about Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas and just enjoy Thursday, October 18, 2018. It will be a good day.
“The key in following the Master’s orders is prayer. ‘Pray the Lord of the harvest . . . .’ He owns the harvest. We have to pray that laborers be sent out to reap. ‘Pray the Lord of the harvest,’ and He will engineer your circumstances to send you out as His laborer” (Oswald Chambers, from My Utmost for His Highest).
That was the topic of tonight’s Kairos sermon. Gospel conversations.
The idea isn’t to convert anyone through the power of your persuasive words. What a Gospel conversation is that you insert into a conversation what God has done for you in Jesus. It’s about opening up the door for the Holy Spirit to work.
I still like the idea that I’m not called to be an attorney and having to prove the validity of God and the Bible and Orthodox Christianity. I’m called to be a witness, sharing what I’ve seen God do in my own life.
After all, people can argue all day long about theology and doctrine, but no one can argue with your own life story. No one can dispute a transformed life.
I’m praying for Gospel conversations in my own life. May all those who follow Jesus have more and more opportunities to share this good news with those around them in the days and weeks to come.
I have to admit that I love getting packages in the mail. Especially when they come from Amazon. It’s like an early Christmas — or a late Christmas, depending on the time of year — to myself.
My latest delivery will be a DVD boxset entitled Lost in Time, a collection of rare episodes from the early years of Doctor Who. Essentially, they’re the surviving parts of old William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton series that were either lost or deleted.
I also have to admit that my Amazon wish list is ridiculous. I keep meaning to get it down to a manageable size, but somehow I keep adding stuff to it. Honestly, I want to be prepared in the event that I win an Amazon shopping spree or a super-sized gift card.
I’d like to say that this is all leading to a big spiritual reveal where I find some deep spiritual symbolism in all this.
Truthfully, I just like getting boxes in the mail.