It Takes Two Men To Make Great Men
The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch, the disciples were first called Christians.—Acts 11: 22-26
I read a great portion of this text yesterday, but I did not want to pass over some great observations here. Notice that one man, Barnabas, described having these qualities: "good," "full of the Holy Spirit," and "full of faith" is getting involved in some evangelistic work that is already happening far north of Jerusalem. Now we must note three things about Barnabas. First, he is an all-in believer. If you jump back to Acts 4, you will read that he is that guy who sold a field and gave all the proceeds to the massive needs at the launch of the first church. Second, he is from Cyprus, which means he knew the customs and people in this area. Third, he was a Hellenized Jew, which meant he spoke and understood Greek customs that would aid in the evangelistic efforts in that area.
But notice soon after he gets to Antioch, he goes to Tarsus and gets Saul. Saul, the man who formerly persecuted Christians. By this time, it is widely known that Saul has fled Damascus and Jerusalem after attempts on his life by the Jews. It's been a few years since we have heard from Saul, but Barnabas takes a risk and goes to get him to help with the work in Antioch. I would assume Barnabas thought that he would be a perfect fit for working with Greek and Gentile people. And because Barnabas took this risk, a monster evangelistic effort is born. One that will now identify Saul, his Hebrew name, as a man named Paul, his Greek name. Which will result in launching Paul as one of the greatest evangelists and ministers of all time. And as Paul writes the book of Romans, we see he has fully embraced his identity and call to be a "minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles." (Romans 15:16)
Here's the point. It always takes two God-fearing men to make great men. Unfortunately, here is a myth that many Christian men believe. That we can be godly men without the help of other men. And I know we consign to this myth, not by what we say but by how we act. Right now, there are men across the world who believe in Jesus that does not have even one good spiritual friend in the faith. They lack even one spiritual brother in their life who is taking a risk on them, encouraging them, drawing out their spiritual gifts, investing time in honing their crafts that aids them in the process of discovering their new identity in Christ. For Paul, Barnabas did just this. And yes, I believe spiritual transformation comes only by Jesus. But many other things can only happen in a relationship with another God-fearing man. And blessed is the man who has one or even more of these men in his life.
So here's the deal if you want to be a great man of God, you will need to find a great man of God who will help you in the journey of becoming a great God's man. If you don't have this guy, then you need to address this today. I cannot take the initiative for you on this one, which is frustrating for me. Only you can. But I believe this is one thing that will transform your life in expected and unexpected ways to advance the Gospel.
ASK THIS: Who is someone who could develop you right in your present situation?
DO THIS: Ask him to invest in you over a drink or meal on your dime.
PRAY THiS: God, bring the right man into my life with the right chemistry and the right time, as you did with Saul and Barnabas.
PLAY THIS: Build Your Kingdom Here — Rend Collective.
SIGN UP — THE DAILY DEVO
short + biblical + practical
Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.