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Barnabas Brought Him

Barnabas Brought Him

17 October 2011

Today’s Reading: Job 3; Acts 8-9

Scripture:

26 When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer! 27 Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus. 28 So Saul stayed with the apostles and went all around Jerusalem with them, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. (Acts 9:26-28 NLT)

After the stoning of Stephen, Saul of Tarsus had become a driving force behind the persecution of Jesus’ followers. On a trip north to Damascus, to arrest followers of The Way, Saul had a miraculous encounter with Jesus the Christ that changed his life forever in an instant. After a visit from brave Ananias and baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit, and healing for his eyes, He immediately began telling his Jesus Story in Damascus. When the opposition got too hot, his fellow Christ-followers sent him back to Jerusalem. The big problem with Saul wanting to join the church in Jerusalem was that Saul had been a full on Jesus-hater and the main threat to Jesus’ followers.

Saul’s conversion was genuine, but everyone was afraid of him and didn’t trust him. Barnabas was a risk-taking second-chance-giver who took Saul under his wing, stood up for him in front of all the other believers, and gave Saul a chance to tell his story and join the fellowship. That’s all it took and Saul was off and running, telling his Jesus Story every chance he got.

Saul of Tarsus eventually became Paul the Apostle--church planter, miracle worker, leadership developer, missionary, and writer of most of the New Testament of the Bible.

What might we all have missed if one man, Barnabas the Encourager, hadn’t taken him under his wing and given him a second chance?

Prayer:

Father, I want to be an encourager and a risk-taking second-chance-giver. I want to have the attitude in my heart and the time in my schedule to “take someone under my wing.” I know this is part of what you’re working with me on in this season. Help me to recognize your voice and your hand in the process that is at work. Help me to help others better. I want to be more like my hero, Barnabas! Amen.

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