>> January 30, 2016
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: Old things have passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
I'm not a New Year's resolution maker. At least not publicly. I think it is the fear of failure that stops me from blurting out any resolutions. Besides, I take more of a hopes and goals angle at the beginning of the year than the popular resolution route.
I mean seriously...everyone wants to lose the terrible ten that tends to stick to our hips and thighs when the happy holidays are said and done. We want to read the Bible more, cut our caffeine intake (well not me..just sayin'), eliminate sugar, exercise more, devote more and digress less.
We want the new year to mean something. To matter more. To hold hope that somehow it will be better than the year we just said good-bye to.
|My son, Jacob (now 28 yrs old) |
sporting a Seahawks shirt in the 80's.
Yup..I'm a REAL fan.
Every superhero needs a sidekick and that's exactly how I see Joseph, the Levite from Cyprus, A.K.A. (every sidekick should have an A.K.A. right?) Barnabas. I mean seriously... the B-man had some major sidekickish skillz: Compassionate, encourager, mediator, mentor, companion, just to name a few.
I've completed a detailed study from the book of Acts* and noticed how the main characters shine like a lighthouse on a stormy night in the age of the early church. Peter and Paul may be the famous Superheroes, but my man Barnabas, stands out in so many ways that I can't help but think... when I grow up, I want to be just like him.
Let me explain...
On the infamous day of the mighty wind and tongues of fire experience in the 2nd Chapter of Acts (now referred to as The Day of Pentecost), Superhero Peter led 3,000 people to Christ. Ka-Boom! We have an instant mega church! Now when
there is explosive growth like that it can create its own breed of problems. And just like any ministry in today's day and age, money is always a functioning need. Granted, they didn't have Public Utility bills, publicity or printing expenses. Nor did they have janitors, secretaries, youth pastors and worship leader salaries to pay, but they still needed to feed and shelter themselves.
Acts 2:44-47 tells us that all the believers were together, selling their "stuff" and providing for everyone's needs. They ate meals together, visited from house to house, and praised God for His favor among the people. The church grew and our sidekick B-man, among others, sold his land and brought the money to the disciples and gave it freely for the use of the church.
As with every good Superhero story, there is gonna be a villain or two. In chapter 8 of the book of Acts, in walks the early church's villain, Saul. (boooo!)
Acts 8:3 "As for Saul (booo) he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men AND women, committing them to prison."But God had a plan to turn our villain into a Superhero for Him. You can read that in the 9th chapter where Saul has the famous blinded by the Light experience which sets him on a different path and eventually his name is changed to Paul. The point I want to bring out in chapter 9 is where our sidekick steps up and convinces the other Superheroes that Saul is a legit Christ follower: he was baptized in water, began preaching, teaching and everything!
Acts 9:10 "But Barnabas (Yay!) took him (Saul) and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he (Saul) had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus."Later in Acts 11 we find the Apostles trust the character of their sidekick enough to send him to investigate some strange thing happening...uncircumcised Gentiles were becoming Christ-followers. *GASP*