Monday, January 30, 2012

FEARLESS: BARNABAS

Fearless: Barnabas

Barnabas was a Levite named an Apostle in Acts 14:14 part of the council of Jerusalem, stoned near Cypress, John Mark witnessed his death, he was the apostle of encouragement, and a peacemaker.

Barnabas was not afraid of the cost of discipleship in three areas.

1. He was not afraid to give (everything)

He gave up his property: There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them. and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need. For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles. (Acts 4:34-37 NLT)

Later he supports himself: Or is it only Barnabas and I who have to work to support ourselves? (1Corinthians 9:6 NLT). Finally he is martyred: John Mark witnessed his stoning. I had a youth pastor that was really giving. He had the habit of giving away things including the best shirt he had in his closet with his brother. I decided to pick up the habit. I gave away things in college and it worked it has made me more giving! Go figure if you give stuff away it makes you more giving. One time we were really struggling with medical bills for our daughter and we have received several anonymous gifts from people in our church. Someone gave us $10,000 one time and $8,000 another time for these medical bills. Barnabas is the picture of fearlessness in becoming less and less bound by the materialism that our world lives by.

2. He was not afraid of being inclusive (even of dangerous people)

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! 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. (Acts 9:26-27 NLT)
One time my wife and I were flying without our kids, which doesn't happen very often, and there was a baby in front of us that was really crying and having a hard time. We were not even in the air yet and then flight attendant told this family they would have to calm down their child before they could take off. Like the plane would not function mechanically if he was crying or something. Everyone around the family including us was outraged! We all understood it was a baby there was nothing they could do, not one of us was mad we were all sympathetic. This is how Barnabas was with dangerous people he did it with Saul (who became the great Paul) and he did it when he took John Mark with him on his missionary Journey. How will you be fearless and include people who might not fit the "status quo" or might even be dangerous.

3. He was not afraid of failure; or better said he believed in second chances (John Mark and Paul)

After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus. Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care. Then he traveled throughout Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches there. (Acts 15:36-41 NLT)

Paul later said about John Mark, Only Luke is with me. Bring Mark with you when you come, for he will be helpful to me in my ministry. (2 4:11 NLT). When I was in 8th grade I went on a youth retreat with our Church. We stopped at a really back country truck stop, I took the chance to stretch my legs and use the restroom. as I was leaving I came across a rack with lots of cassette tapes on them of all the popular music; Lynard Skynard, Grateful Dead, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, Credence Clearwater Revival, didn't I say this was one of those truck stops! Don't laugh You know you listened to them too! So I though it would be cool to steal some tapes and take them back to the van to show all the guys. As I got back to the van and showed all the guys they said, "are you crazy" and at that very moment I felt a hand grab my shoulder. I was caught. The owner let me off easy and my youth pastor gave me a second chance, and let me back into the group after my mother got a hold of me! This was a very nice move on his part to give me grace because I needed it at the time. For us as Christians we should really believe and hold to the statement "Grace is True". Barnabas was fearless in the face of failure and showed many people great Grace. Will You?

Joni and Friend Family retreat is where I see lots of Fearless people. Tegan Mickle is one of those who do not flinch in the face of fear and disability and go and serve and love all those people that the world has maybe forgotten. Here is her story.

1 comment:

Annemarie said...

richard!
i love your blog, it means so much to me and always makes me thinking and growing in believing in christ.
thank-you.
greetings to your family!
i hope we will see again in summer in englishcamp!
blessings, annemarie
http://missminiature.blogspot.com/