Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 8...The Barnabas Way!

I am walking through a book by John Sloan entitled "The Barnabas Way" (if you're interested, this book is offered in "My Very Favorites" column to the right of this blog post) and I'm really being challenged to take a good hard look at myself and my walk with God...are my sights set on the right things? Is the direction I'm taking in life paved by God? Am I willing to give the control handles of my life to God?

All of these questions seem easily answered until flesh enters into the equation. What about MY agenda? What about what I want? How will this benefit ME??

Barnabas (his story is found in the book of Acts) was a man of God. He was constantly reaching out to others. His giving wasn't necessarily extravagant, nor were the benefits of his giving when defined in human terms, but the Heavenly rewards were enormous!!

As the Beatitudes reveal...what is great in the Kingdom of Heaven will also benefit us most here on earth.

John Sloan reminds us in his little book that the benefits of living like a follower of Jesus with a Barnabas mind-set...showing compassion, reaching out, encouraging...are as follows:

  • A new focus on people instead of things
  • An opportunity to watch God bless, but not because we demand it
  • Emotional health
  • The joy of seeing people get back on their feet
  • A front-row view of the Cinderellas in life who get an opportunity to start over
  • A chance to help people discover their own happiness
  • An antidote for loneliness
  • The secret to genuinely discovering our purpose
  • Discovering God is just and fair
  • Experiencing God's unconditional love for ourselves and others
  • Preventing ourselves from getting disillusioned about God
There are no promises made that if you follow the Barnabas Way that you will suddenly have a bigger house, more money, a greater ministry, or a better life.

There are no promises that you'll have less trouble...that things will all make sense...

John ended his thoughts with..."I can promise that if you look each day for one who is hurting, one who has lost something, one who needs encouragement from God, or one who wants the support of a friend, you will never lack for a divine encounter. Someone will be there every day...

And you will be his/her blessing!!"

During our second week of our 29 Day Gift Challenge, I am going to focus more on giving the way Barnabas gave (if you've not read the story of Barnabas in the Bible I would encourage you to do s0). I want to be constantly looking for the next person who needs help.

John stated that, "thoughts of hunting for a new sports utility vehicle or upgrading my wardrobe, or finding a better mortgage rate suddenly pale when I've identified a human being in need of help."

Many times I look at life and see a busy schedule...things to do, lists to check off, deadlines to meet...Barnabas looked at life and saw people!!

I pray that we all hear God's still small voice leading us to the people who need us the most this week and as we heed to that voice, we will reap the Heavenly rewards while we're here on earth and for eternity!

Can't wait to hear about your experiences and how God is working in your lives!!



Mike said...

I was reminded that giving isn't the only way to give.One of my co-workers at the "Y" was concerned about my laser surgery on my eye thursday.I told this person "It's not necessary for you to come with me,it's such an easy procedure." It was all brought up to me by the Holy Spirit.He told me this lady needs to be with you for her sake.It seems she is like me.Her gift is giving.I asked her if she could come and she just beamed.It was only for 30 or so minutes but she was very happy. Scripture says "It's better to give than receive."I guess it is also better to receive in order to give.

Karen said...

that is an awesome story michael.

today i went to the beauty parlor. i sang to one of the employees when i went in. you are my sunshine song. the thing is singing is NOT one of my strengths but it brougth a BIG smile to her face.

i also told couple cute jokes to some of the elderly ladies there and just chatted instead of just sitting in my chair and waiting my turn.

we enjoyed the time and they had smiles. i like to have people be happy and smile!

the world can be a lonely place unless you reach out. even though God is with us. we need to be with each other.


Gini said...

I'm posting this for March 1, even tho it is early a.m. on March 2.

Today I gave the gift of freedom to a very dear friend and family member. It is very personal and confidential, so I cannot reveal names..but so often in the past I felt I had to apply my wishes and opinions to decisions this other person had to make, to the point of imposing them upon this person. In doing so, I was thinking only of how the decision would benefit or affect me. Today I gave freedom to this person to make decisions based on God's leading and the person's desire or choice. It turns out to be freeing for both of us.

Anonymous said...

Gini, Thanks for sharing. :)


Gini said...

Over two years ago a couple and their daughter visited our church and have been a part of our church family since. Not too long after their first visit, the daughter brought her man friend with her to church. During this time, Larry has married the young ones and baptized them and they have been nurtured in the church family. They will be leaving us to move to North Carolina. This Sunday we are having a send-off dinner for them after the service. I have made calls to put together a fitting dinner for the occasion and
the response was wonderful. Everyone is anxious to participate by bringing their favorite dishes.
God brings people into our lives that leave footprints on our hearts and these two are those kind who have. We will miss their presence in our church family, but they have assured us that we have a place to visit in NC. ;0)