Meeting Jesus: Barnabus

Meeting Jesus: Barnabas 
A message on Acts 13:1-3; Romans 10:13-15
By Amber Jones Associate Pastor
Jacksonville First United Methodist Church
August 25, 2019

“Commissioned!”

Acts 13:1-3 
Barnabas and Saul Commissioned
13 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the ruler and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

This is the word of God for us the people of God, Thanks be to God!

God had a plan for Barnabas and Saul thus the reason he called them and they were blessed to go out. That same plan is what God has in store for us as a church.

A little history on Barnabas and Saul(Paul) He was a man that was received in the New Testament but wasn’t known that well.You could learn a lot from Barnabas when it came to faith. He played a big role in spreading the Gospel , but still wasn’t well-known like Paul. Barnabas was introduced to us in Acts 4:36-37. We find out about Barnabas’ character. We find out that Barnabas is a nickname given by the apostles. Barnabas name meant the “Son of Encouragement”, (That’s a Pretty cool name. I have a nickname but its not as cool as Barnabas (Mine is just Amber Alert). Barnabas loved to encourage others as well as help others. He sold his land and gave the money away to those that needed it. We find that in Acts 4:35.

Barnabas was a man greatly used by the Lord to reach many people for Christ. Acts 11:24 says, “For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and many people were added unto the Lord.” Barnabas was mightily used to reach and disciple new believers for the Lord. Barnabas was known for encouraging Saul known as Paul. In doing so, God used Saul (Paul) in unbelievable ways to impact the world for God.

God had a plan for Barnabas and Paul! God has a plan for us a church today as well. Isn’t it good to hear that as followers of Christ that God has a plan for you, only not know the next step. Bummer! Right!? So, Barnabas and Paul and those around did something very special.They couldn’t just sit around and wait for the answers. They fasted and prayed for the direction of the Lord concerning their new direction. Then the holy spirit spoke to them.

Now I want to have a transparency moment for a second well just call this a commercial break . In my preparation for this sermon I struggled with the voice of the holy spirit and God’s direction that he wanted to take us as we examined Barnabas. It was not the character of Barnabas that God wanted us to focus on this morning however its important for us to know. But it’s about the work that Barnabas and Paul did in the cities for the glory of God.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program we see that after prayer and fasting,

The Holy Spirit selected these two men, Paul and Barnabas, to serve as that first missionary team. We heard, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (Acts 13:3).

When I think of Barnabas, he strikes me as one of those people who really understood the blessings of being with and serving along-side-of fellow Christians.

Encouragement is good when it comes from someone else. My grandmother once told me that you have to encourage even the ones that are strong because they sometimes are the weakest among you. You can receive encouragement from yourself,but I wouldn’t be the same as getting it from someone else that would be you talking to yourself. (Hey i do it a lot no one here to judge you. However, God knows that we need each other, fellow Colleagues, brothers and sisters in Christ , to be with you and work with you. We need each other to achieve The Great Commission of Christ “To go and make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world this is GREAT for two reasons. It is great because it is a PRIVILEGE to think that God would ever select us,(Commissioned us) with all of our failures and faults for such an important job as taking his saving message to people. But it’s also great because it is a really BIG job! I mean “all nations” is a whole lot of people. Thank God that he doesn’t send us out alone, but that he gives us each other, fellow Christians to carry out that work together, to receive and to give encouragement.

This morning there are actually a few things that we could learn from “The man of encouragement” and the commissioning of Barnabas and Saul(Paul).

1. Be Willing to Take Risk “Be an Encouragement to one another”
When nobody wanted to extend the right hand of fellowship to this new believer, Barnabas responded in faith and embraced Paul as a new person in Christ. The impact that Paul had on the early church is overwhelming! However, if Barnabas had not been willing to mentor Paul he may not have made as much of an impact. It is a risk to reach out to people and love them, invest in them, care for them, and mentor them and most importantly to encourage them. However, if we fail in these areas, the church’s mission will be highly impacted in a negative way.

Barnabas’ life was cool and his ministry of encouragement was great but beyond that. It’s about the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit that moved through him when he moved to take the task of encouraging. So many people are discouraged, It is necessary and vital for ministry to be an encouragement for one another. Begin to pray and Ask God to make you a true and effective ‘encourage’ in His Church from this very day to push those that have the gifts and graces to enhance the kingdom of God.

Romans 10:13-15 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
13 For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
14 But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? 15 And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Those are some really challenging thought provoking questions to think about.

When I was in high school I couldn’t wait for the day that I would get an invitation to be someone’s date to the homecoming and winter ball dance. It was one thing I looked forward to but you know what didn’t happen. I didn’t get asked to dance now anyone that knows me knows I love to dance.

At the global leadership summit I attended a few weeks ago one of the speakers mentioned that too often we invite but we don’t ask them to dance.

2.Go Beyond The Invitation, Ask Someone to Dance!

I pray that as we are inviting and disciplining that we not only extending the invitation but we are being inclusive. Now i just want to brag on Miss Abby she literally invited me to dance last Friday and i had a blast. I then felt comfortable and invited my best friend to come along with me. Its that first step that makes a difference and it opens the doors for more ministry opportunities. Now am I saying join a dance group and invite them to a class no. I’m saying allow God to speak to you to encourage and invite and included them in your bible study, small groups, and be intentional about making disciples of Jesus Christ.

Barnabas and Paul were commissioned to go out and witness to those that needed a risen savior.

Here the good news we have been called to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world don’t be afraid to take risk God is with you and most importantly God has placed someone alongside you to encourage you and remember it’s more than just an invitation, ask someone to dance.

We are like a chain we are as strong as the person next to us working together to transform the lives of those that need to know that God loves them. In the name of the father son and Holy spirit. AMEN

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