Are You a Comforter (3 of 3)

Mike Connell

Page 4 of 6
Imparts words of faith - I love this guy Barnabas. He's filled with faith, filled with the Holy Ghost, filled with the spirit of God. Notice at least three areas that you'll find this guy operating:

1) You'll find him operating in the church; and everywhere he goes, the church increases. How about that? Because he's got a love for people, and believes in them. Because he's a person of faith, he doesn't just see the difficulties they have, he actually sees beyond the difficulties, to see what opportunities and potential there is.

We find him mentioned in three kinds of contexts: 1) in relationship to the church, building and strengthening the church; and then going out to enlarge the church; 2) in relationship to Paul; 2) in relationship to John Mark.

Acts 9:26 – “Saul came to Jerusalem and tried to join the disciples, but everyone was afraid of him, and didn't believe he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and declared to them that: he had seen the Lord on the road, and how he had spoken to Him.”

We've got this guy Paul, and everyone's afraid of him, because of what he's like. His reputation is one of murder and mayhem - he's killed Christians. In fact, in that congregation, there were people there hurting, because their loved ones had been taken away by Paul. They hated him, they were offended by him, they were afraid of him - but Barnabas saw past the problems, went and talked with him, and sat down with him and heard his testimony. You've got to overcome the fear.

The other thing he overcame was: worry about what people would think about him. Imagine that for Barnabas to go to this guy Paul - the murderer of all these Christians, and the persecutor of the church - that was a huge deal. But he went to him, enquired of him - and discerned (because he's a Holy Ghost man) the call of God on his life. He brings the persecutor of the church, the murderer of the church, into the church fellowship to meet the apostles - and he helps him get reconnected into the church.

Paul had a great gift on his life, but without connection into the church, he wasn't going to fulfil it. He needed to be connected, so a great thing you see in Barnabas' life is, he overcomes fear of what people think, he overcomes the fear of losing his reputation. He goes and connects with someone who really needs help to get up on the next journey of his life. He comes alongside him, and then he brings him to come alongside the other apostles - and this is the man that was going to change everything in the world at that season.

We look at Paul, and we think: wow, what a great guy - but I wonder how many have stopped to think about Barnabas, who connected him. Barnabas connected him; and he did a lot more than that. Barnabas so believed in him, that he helped and worked alongside him. He so believed in him, that later on in Acts 13, when the Holy Ghost calls people to go out to missionary work - He called Barnabas and Saul.

Notice the order - in Acts 13:2, its Barnabas and Saul; but in verse 7, it's Barnabas and Saul. Barnabas begins to see the great gift on his life - this shows the bigness of heart. He realised there was a greater anointing and call on Paul, than on his own life – so he allowed leadership of the team to rest and transfer onto Paul. Now that is a big person!

That is what an encourager looks like. They're not worried about position; or what people think. They're not worried too much about the things that people are saying about someone else. They go to them, and help them get connected and fulfil their call, discover and find their way forward.