Come, Join the Barnabas Club!

     In Acts 4:36-37 we are introduced to an amazing man, Barnabas. He is mentioned some twenty times in the Acts of the Apostles. Luke cites Barnabas as a role model of the believers. Barnabas had on his resume’ that he was a Levite and was from Cyprus. Levites were descendants of the tribe of Levi. They assisted and served the Priesthood in the sanctuary, distributed the tithes to the needy and taught and interpreted the verdicts of the law. Barnabas was related to the author of the gospel of Mark. John Mark was his cousin.
     
     Barnabas got his name (His real name was Joseph) Barnabas, because he was generous. He owned some property and sold it and then laid the proceeds at the Apostles’ feet. So, the Apostles gave him the name Barnabas which means son of Encouragement. Whenever we meet him in the pages of the New Testament he is always helping, encouraging, affirming, uplifting and always claiming the best for people. When John Mark abandoned Paul and Barnabas on the First Missionary Journey it was Barnabas who gave him another chance when they launched the next Missionary journey. Barnabas believed the best of people and was a source of encouragement to them.
 
     What would we do without the Barnabases in our lives? They are the ones who believe the best about you when you are harassed by others. They are the friend who steps into your life when everyone steps out of your life. They have a loyalty to you that outshines everyone else.
 
     Lloyd Ogilvie, the Presbyterian minister and former Chaplain to the United States Senate, said his former Church (Hollywood Presbyterian Church) had a Barnabas Club. The basic purpose of the Barnabas Club was to surround him and be a source of encouragement to his ministry. A further purpose was to be supportive of each other in attempts to be channels of the Holy Spirit. The Barnabas Club adopted the words of Paul as their guideline:
 
“I therefore a prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,
with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3
 
Come with me and join the Barnabas Club!
 
Pastor Gene Wells