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Jun 17, 2018

Barnabas

Barnabas

Passage: Acts 15:35-41

Speaker: Jon McHenry

Series: Sacred Characters

Category: Faith

Keywords: barnabas, humility

As a follower of Jesus, Barnabas emulates Christ in putting others ahead of himself, serving and encouraging those around him, both inside and outside the church.

Scripture:

Acts 11: 22-26 (NIV)
Acts 14: 1-3 (NIV)

Devotional

As we read Acts, a subtle change occurs in references to Barnabas and Paul, the dynamic evangelistic duo: they start being referred to as “Paul and Barnabas.” As we read it now, we may not even notice it; at the time, it could well have been jarring, especially for Barnabas, who used his credibility and esteem to bring Paul (originally Saul) into the early church. Yet we don’t see any signs of controversy around this change; instead, we see Barnabas’ humility.

C.S. Lewis wrote that if you meet a truly humble person, "He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.” Pastor and author Rick Warren may have said it more memorably: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” 

Wow. 

We see Barnabas’ humility as he continues to work with Paul. We also see it as he forgives John Mark for leaving them in the midst of their first missionary trip (Acts 15:36-40). As a follower of Jesus, Barnabas emulates Christ in putting others ahead of himself, serving and encouraging those around him, both inside and outside the church.

As Barnabas demonstrated, I see acted out by people in the Arcola community, too. The team going to Mexico in the summer to serve others is an obvious example; Steve Bell spending three to six hours a week working on the church grounds so we have a welcoming spot for members and guests is another. Prayers and Squares and Sunday school are other opportunities to think of others above ourselves. And donating to the Dulles South Food Pantry is yet another opportunity to think of ourselves a bit less, and to think of others a bit more.

 We are blessed to have many opportunities at Arcola to practice humility, opportunities to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, as we thank You for the gifts You give us, and the example we see in Barnabas, we’re challenged to think less of ourselves and more of others. We thank You for the forgiveness we have in Your Son Jesus, and pray for the strength of Your Spirit to lead us to be more humble, serving You and Your people. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Written by Jon McHenry. Jon leads our devotional team, is a council member, worship speaker and part of the men's ministry at Arcola Church. He is a devoted husband and father. He owes a debt of gratitude to the devotional team for their many edits and improvements of this devotional.