What we studied yesterday about Spirit directed and empowered witness is seen best, I believe, in the book of Acts in the life of Barnabas.
Let’s do a biographical study of his life. Human interest always stimulates concentration and captures the imagination. We perk up when we see or hear how someone else manages in a situation. This is especially true when the circumstances are similar to what we might be facing at the time. The more we can learn from others the less we need to learn through the hard knocks of experience.
The biographical study helps us learn from the experience of Bible characters. Take three simple steps in doing this study: collect all references in the Bible referring or relating to the character you want to study. A concordance will be necessary for most of the characters you might choose to study.
Then correlate the material into an outline with a focus on either a character analysis or an historical portrait. The latter emphasizes events in the person’s life while the former emphasizes the qualities of an individual.
Finally, crystallize what you have learned into applications.
You will find things about Barnabas in the following references. Acts 4; 9; 11; 12 through 15; I Corinthians 9:6; Galatians 2; and Colossians 4:10. Read and reflect on what you find about Barnabas in these portions of the Bible and write down your observations about his life. We will continue this study in our next visit by correlating what we collected into an outline.