In our biographical study of the life of Barnabas as seen in the New Testament we first collected information we found about his life. Then we correlated this information into an outline. Actually, we developed two outlines, an historical portrait which emphasized his life experiences, and a character analysis that emphasized the qualities of his character. Now we’re ready for the third step, crystalize what you’ve learned into some personal, practical applications.
One application I drew from this study of Barnabas was that, though he was not a perfect man (for example, he got very angry in his argument with Paul over John Mark), he nevertheless left an indelible imprint on the life of the early church and on its leaders. In other words, God can use imperfect people like me.
Another application was, he modeled the life of a true mentor (II Timothy 2:2). He recognized the potential in others and found ways to help them realize their full potential. He rejoiced when others experienced the blessing of God in their lives. He realized he couldn’t indefinitely keep doing all he wanted to do for God, so he reproduced himself, thus multiplying and extending his ministry through others. He always encouraged others to keep the work of God going forward.
Oh, how the church today needs more men and women like Barnabas. Reflect long on his life and follow his example. Pray for God to increase his tribe!