Acts 9:26-27 (NIV)
26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.
27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.
Ever got in the middle of a conflict, or a situation where people were avoiding one another. It is not real pleasant at times, and sometimes doesn’t turn out like you hope. I remember when I was in 2nd grade getting beat up quite frequently by a neighborhood bully(where were those bully laws back then?) My mom was the peacemaker, threatening my “friend” with exposure of his crimes. That took care of my beatings, but didn’t save my 2 foot battleship from being destroyed by a sand attack. At any rate, I was thankful for my mom’s intervention at that young age, since they were not going to enroll their 7 year old in some self defense class.
In Acts 9 we read how Barnabas was instrumental in helping Saul (about to be called Paul) be accepted by the other Apostles. Before his conversion to Christ, Saul had been persecuting Christians. So the Apostles had good reason to be skeptical of this sudden change of heart. But as only God can do, He changed Saul. Barnabas, whose name means Son of Encouragement lived up to his name and brought Saul and the Apostles together. Peacemakers are thought of highly in the Bible. Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God. Paul pleads with the Church at Philippi to be peacemakers between Euodia and Syntyche. How are you at being a peacemaker? How are you and I in our relationships with others? Are we being used by God or are we occupying space? How will you choose to use your time and energy today?
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV)
18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
We are being conformed into the likeness of Christ, being light in this world, revealing the glory of Christ to others as we interact with them. Some of us need to evaluate the choices we are making or have made, the people we are with, or what we are doing with those people, or on the other hand the people we are not with and the things we are not doing with those people.
As people who were created in the image of God, we have opportunity to see that image restored in Christ and are able to relate to God and others and help them to enjoy relationship with God and others as well. Your title could be Minister of Reconciliation. It won’t be a cabinet position in the new presidential administration. It is a much higher position, serving the Almighty God.
Be a Barnabas today!
PS Remember that it is by God’s Spirit that true change happens. See what His power can do today.