This Devotional blog has been created to make Jesus famous by offering devotions and Bible study resources in order to encourage Christ-followers to reach their full Kingdom potential.
GROWING AS A LIFE ENHANCER
Walt Disney said that in life there are three types of people.
Well Poisoners – Well Posioners are people who discourage others, stomp on their dreams and creativity. They poison wells of potential and like to tell others what they cannot do or will not accomplish.
Lawn Mowers – Lawn Mowers are people who have good intentions but are self absorbed. They are content to mow their own lawns, but don’t take the time to help others. While they don’t mind investing in themselves, no one else benefits or grows along with them.
Life Enhancers – Life Enhancers are people who reach out to enrich the lives of others. Life Enhancers lift up the people around them and offer encouragement and inspiration to help others reach their potential and be the best they can be.
In the New Testament, the man called Barnabas is a great example of a Life Enhancer. While his real name was Joseph, he was given the name “Barnabas” by the Apostles because they recognized him as a “Son of Encouragement.”
When the newly converted Paul tried to meet with the Apostles, Acts 9:26 says, “They were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.” Who could blame them? After all, Paul was present when Steven was killed for his faith in Jesus and became the first martyr of the church! The early church leaders thought it was just a trick and as a result no one would have anything to do with Paul.
In verse 27 however Barnabas, the “son of encouragement” steps up and was willing to trust in the potential of a young Paul. Barnabas was willing to risk his own safety, comfort, and reputation in order to reach out to and encourage the potential that no one else yet recognized in young Paul.
In chapter 12 and 13 of Acts, Barnabas and Paul become a great missionary team. As we read through these accounts though, it is important to notice that the team started out as being listed as “Barnabas and Paul.” In chapter 13:42, a shift occurs. The team changes to “Paul and Barnabas.” While Barnabas was the encourager, Paul was probably beginning to show how powerfully he could preach the Gospel.
This passage says something very important about Barnabas too however. It shows that he didn’t mind NOT being in the limelight. He never complained about playing second string to Paul… even though he was the one who had befriended and encouraged Paul in the first place. All Barnabas seemed to care about was that the Gospel was being shared with as many people as possible.
In Acts 15 (verses 37-40), Paul and Barnabas have a sharp argument. Barnabas identifies potential in another young helper name John Mark. Though the reason is not clearly stated, Paul figures that John Mark wasn‘t up to par for the job ahead. Barnabas was willing to believe and invest in John Mark’s potential as a leader even though Paul did not.
Barnabas investment into John Mark also paid off in the end as John Mark, known to us today simply as Mark became the man who wrote the Gospel of Mark! Even more impressive is that many scholars suggest today that both Matthew and Luke used the writings of Mark to help pen the Gospels that they wrote as well!!!
While Barnabas is not remembered for writing a book of the bible, nor is he often preached about from the pulpit, the encouragement he gave to the next generation and his resourcing of servants of Christ who needed someone to believe in them, led to the world being changed in incredible ways.
It is my heart’s desire to use the gifts and experiences that God has given me, in order to be a life enhancer by offerring encouragement and inspiration to those around me, and to help release their Kingdom potential in others as Barnabas did in his day.
My audio teachings can be heard here or as a podcast on Itunes (type “Ty Tamasaka” into the Itunes search engine to find the Resonate podcast). To see articles on pastoral and marketplace leadership see my leadership blog here at barnabasprojecthawaii.wordpress.com.