A Church Member Who Cares
A CHURCH MEMBER WHO CARES
Acts 4:32-37; 9:26-27; 11:27-30; 15:36-39
INTRO: If you could examine a resume of the New Testament character of Barnabas, it would look something like this:
NAME: Barnabas (son of consolation, son of encouragement).
BACKGROUND: Levite, a descendant of the tribe of Levi who assisted the priests in the sanctuary and also distributed money to the needy.
JOB WANTED: Any position that will enable me to work with people and use my gift of encouragement, will give opportunity to spread the gospel, will allow me to fulfill my responsibility as a Christian giver, and will further develop and carry out my desire to serve Christ.
QUALIFICATIONS: A good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith (Acts 11:24); a generous man (Acts 4:36-37); a seasoned traveler and preacher.
Barnabas is a picture of commitment and care. He teaches us how to become a church member who cares.
I. CONTRIBUTES HIS PART TO THE MINISTRY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH (Acts 4:32-37).
This passage introduces us to Barnabas, the minister of encouragement, the man who was characterized by his care for others and for his desire to serve Christ and to strengthen the early church.
The early church members pitched in to share life together, to care for needy members, to give from their possessions, and to minister to one another. Barnabas was a generous church member who showed he cared through his giving. He sold property and gave the money to the apostles to help spread the gospel. Motivated by a deep love for Christ and a deep sense of caring, he gave his money and himself.
Herein lies an important lesson for each of us: we should never give money instead of self, and we should never give self instead of money. God's Word calls us to live a giving, serving life-style. Barnabas responded by doing his part to strengthen his church's ministry efforts to spread the gospel across the land.
II. ENCOURAGES OTHER PEOPLE.
Barnabas spent his life edifying others, building them up, and showing them he cared. He was an encourager who looked beyond himself to others. He knew the best thing to do behind a person's back was to pat it.
When things are not going well, it simply helps to hear someone say: “I believe in you. I care about you.” Barnabas cared enough to show he believed in other people (Acts 9:26-27).
When others were skeptical of Saul's conversion, Barnabas was convinced of Saul's genuineness. When Paul did not want to take John Mark with him because John Mark had left them during a missionary trip, Barnabas stepped in and insisted on allowing John Mark to come (Acts 15:36-39).
Enter the ministry of encouragement. Think about the people God has placed into your life. Who are the people you can encourage in a tangible way?
III. EXHIBITS CONSISTENCY AND DEPENDABILITY (Acts 11:27-30).
The early Christians of Antioch trusted Barnabas and knew they could depend on him. They entrusted him and Saul with the benevolence gift for the needy churches of Judea. This offering was an act of fellowship that would increase the bond between the Jewish Christians of the Jerusalem church and the mainly Gentile church members at Antioch. The Antioch church knew they could count on Barnabas.