Barnabas accompanied Paul on his first mission expedition recorded in the book of Acts. Barnabas is mentioned in Acts for as bringing money from the sale of land to the apostles in order to care for the poor among them. Later in the book when there is a disagreement dividing the church in seeking to describe the severity of it the words used were, “even Barnabas” was pulled the wrong way.
In a world where we are measured by accomplishments and accolades we easily forget the power of encouragement. I know that God shows me truth in my heart and the ability to express that truth in words and “parables”. My sharing them here is out of a desire to help others to see and understand the world of the Spirit.
We Live in a world filled with news of floods, uprisings, death and tragedy. In a world of tragic calamity, we must understand the causes and effects of life. Without understanding the spiritual world we are like people without sight or hearing walking through life not understanding the things that strike our lives daily.
Yet because I find that most of the people I encounter have little value of these things and I often feel disparaged by the things I don’t do so well rather than the Gift God has given me. I feel rejected because I don’t remember names so well or because I am somewhat disorganized. At times I am so filled with the words that come to mind I don’t take the time I should to hear, to finish listening to the one before me.
So this morning I find a comment from one I have never met saying that my mind has value. Only a few words but words that cause my heart to soar. I would write more here but I easily begin to think that perhaps since so few look at them that maybe they really do not have value.
Just a few words from a stranger this morning remind me of a Gift that I am to share. My prayer becomes, “Lord, just as Paul spoke to Timothy to “stir up the Gift that was in him.” I find myself by only a few words from a stranger encouraged again to “stir up that Gift.” May I not fail to accomplish all You have set before me to do. As I look at the demands of this day, the needs of a dying world and the urgency to bring the remaining sheep into the fold before the time comes and we can work no longer I think, “Lord, who is sufficient for these things!” Yet, though Paul was just one man, encouraged by Barnabas, encouraged by others that one man sowed the seeds of Life that now nearly 2,000 years after his death still are bearing fruit! With God nothing is impossible!
Not one of us is sufficient for these things. Not one of us can accomplish all we are called to do without others who come alongside us. May we love one another with new raging fires of passion so that our love, our encouragement may feed the fire of another. Separated by the pain of life and the self absorption that often accompanies it our fires can dim and separated each fire may grow cold. But together the collective passion of the fire that burns within us becomes an unquenchable fire consuming the hate of a dying world and burning through the underbrush of confusion to blaze a path which together we can walk into the eternity of God.
May God grant us grace to walk together and encourage one another! Amen.