260 Devotional, May 29, Acts 11

19Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. 20Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.  22News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.  25Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

Meditation

  1. Barnabas appears as a minor character taking a backseat to Paul.  His name means “son of encouragement.”  He brought the money, having sold a field, to the apostles for charity use (4:37).  Later he encouraged the believers to accept Paul(9:27).  Paul and Barnabas began an itinerary ministry, teaching, caring and evangelizing.  Barnabas is described as “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith”.  Though Barnabas enters and disappears in Acts quietly, we hear echoes of Jesus: “Whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant” (Matt 20:26).
  2. Who in your life has impacted you most deeply?  Who was like Barnabas that has believed in you, supported you when you sorely needed it? Who, as Barnabas did, “strengthened (your) souls… and encouraged (you) to continue in the faith”?
  3. Barnabas could be characterized as a giver – he gave of his money, time, energy, and position.  Which of these types of giving is most difficult for you?  In what way might God be asking you to give right now?
  4. How can you imitate Barnabas as an encourager of others, seeing their potential, and spurring them on in proclaiming the good news of Jesus?

 

Family Time (Begin this time by reading the passage above using a children’s Bible.)

Barnabas is an Encourager and a cheerful Giver.  Do you like to give away things to people who need it?  What have you given to people?  Discuss ways and things your family can give to a needy family or a person.  Decide when and how to accomplish it.  Record your plan in your Family Devotional Journal.

Prayer & Journaling:  On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions, words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.

Proverbs for Today 13:8-11

The ransom of a man's life is his wealth, but a poor man hears no threat.  The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.  10 By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom.  11 Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.


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