Helping others is important. Although not showy, it encourages, strengthens, and lifts up others.
We will look at four individuals who helped others. Ruth, Barnabas, Paul, and Barzillai. Their stories recall friendships, service, and commitment.
Barnabas and Saul: standing in the gap
“And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.” (Acts 9:26-28)
Saul was out to arrest, kill, or jail as many Christians as possible. On his way to Damascus, he had an encounter with Jesus that changed his life. He now wanted to tell others about Jesus death, burial, and resurrection. He did and many believed.
When he came to Jerusalem and presented himself before the disciples, they did not believe his conversion, and were afraid of him.
Standing in the gap for Saul was Barnabas. He testified to Saul’s encounter with Jesus, changed life, and his bold preaching in Damascus. Acts 13:1-5, record for us the calling of Barnabas and Saul to God’s work. Barnabas encouraged, mentored, and helped Saul in his early years.
We need to be able to mentor other young believers in their faith. Discipleship is crucially important. That was what Jesus was doing for three years with His disciples. Young believers need to be taught the foundational truths of Scripture.
Will we stand in the gap for someone today?
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001