“for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith”
The art of letter writing has somewhat been lost in a world of emails, texts and mobile phones. All of which I am sure we are thankful for, particularly at the moment. I have to say though I still like to get a letter or card through the post.
One of the things that has come afresh to me recently is how often Paul (and others) describes the people he mentions in his letters. Take Romans 16 for example, ‘Mary – a hard worker’, ‘Rufus – chosen in the Lord’, ‘Urbanus – a fellow worker’, ‘Appelles – Approved in Christ’, ‘Rufus’ Mum – like a mother to Paul’, and so on. In fact, for many of them all we know of their lives is summed up in three or four words. I am not sure it’s a question I want to know the answer to, but if someone were to sum up my or your life in one sentence what would they say?
Barnabas is one we know a lot more about than we do many others. Luke describes him as “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of Faith” (Acts 11:24). What a summary and a man to emulate in a world of so many bad examples.
Here are just a few characteristics of Barnabas we seek to imitate:
- He obeyed the Word of God in his daily life and encouraged faithfulness to the Word in others;
- He was righteous;
- He was filled with the Holy Spirit, and had an effective ministry;
- He was a man of faith which he used to encourage the church and to fuel his evangelistic zeal;
- He was welcoming, embracing the Gentile believers, those outside of his normal ‘comfort zone’.
What a witness the church could be if we were all like this.
Tirzah Jones is a member @ Malpas Road Evangelical Church