Soulnet 2015 – session 1

30 Jan

As our time of sung worship comes to an end, Mike prays and reminds us that God is the only one who does things. We may roll away the stones and remove the grave stones, but it is only God who can say “Lazarus come out”. Poignant words as we start our weekend of retreat and focussing on God.

Mike is speaking in this first session, talking on Barnabas.
Mike reminds us that Barnabas was the only one who would go near Paul after his conversion.
Acts 11:22-30
Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.
Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

Barnabas arrives at a church that wasn’t his own and was “glad” at what he saw happening by God’s grace. (v.23)
The passage starts talking about “Barnabas and Paul” but soon becomes “Paul and Barnabas”. Barnabas allowed Paul to come to the fore and was not jealous, but continued to encourage Paul.
Barnabas was the one who went after John Mark. To be an encourager to him.
Without Barnabas there would be no Paul. Behind great leaders there is usually a great encourager (Elijah encouraged Elisha; Jonathan encouraged David). It is still true today.
Investing in people requires teaching, prayer and love. It also requires encouragement and challenge. The challenge must come from a place of love, love that is recognised by the person you are encouraging knows that it comes from a person who wants the best for them.
We need encourages in our lives, just as much as we need to be encourages of others.
When you feel invested in another person’s life and ministry you have a stake in what they do and a desire to see them succeed.

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