A turning point in the Church’s history
The conversion of Saul of Tarsus was a turning point in the church’s history, and God used several people to touch his life. We remember Paul, but we are prone to forget the people who helped him get started.
The witness of Stephen was significant (22:20) as were the testimonies and prayers of persons Saul persecuted (Matthew 5:44). Ananias baptized him and encouraged him, and the disciples at Damascus saved his life. When the church in Jerusalem feared to welcome Saul into their fellowship, Barnabas (“Son of encouragement”) built the bridge. Barnabas later enlisted Saul to serve in the Antioch church (11:25-26) and traveled with him in evangelistic ministry among the Gentiles (13:1-3).
You may not be called to a prominent work as Saul was, but you can do the job God has called you to do and be an encouragement to others. We do not know the names of the brave men who smuggled Saul out of Damascus (Vs.25), but holding the ropes was an important job!
Posted by brother Narayan
Acts 9 – 11 Chapters
Saul of Tarsus began his journey to becoming Paul the apostle on the road to Damascus.God knew Saul was perfectly suited for the task.
First, Paul was a Hebrew and a Pharisee. No one could accuse him of indifference or failure to set a standard. He had studied under Gamaliel, so no Jew would consider him ignorant of the Scriptures. He grew up in Tarsus, which gave him his Roman Citizenship and acquainted him with the ways of the world. He was an articulate communicator, which made him perfect to write nearly two thirds of the New Testament. He hotly pursued righteousness, a passion that helped reach Asia Minor.
God appoints specific leaders to fulfill a mission; He doesn’t hold a popular vote. If He had, no ancient believer would have voted for Saul. Instead, God saw Saul’s qualities and called him to both follow Jesus and lead men. (Acts.9:1–20).
Missiologists would have called him ethnocentric. While the apostle Peter knew that Jesus told him to go into all the world and preach the gospel, he still had trouble speaking with a Roman centurion named Cornelius. So God provided fresh vision for him. Author Steve Moore notes the sequence of God’s vision-building work.
Supernatural Revelation (vv.9–16). God expands Peter’s horizons and helps him out of the box—-education that led to new conviction.
Supernatural Invitation(vv.17–23).God sends associates of Cornelius to invite Peter to enter a new scope of ministry to Gentiles–,exposure that led to new commitment.
When God wants to draw new obedience from His servants. He almost always communicates fresh vision. This is exactly what Peter got. (Acts 10:1—35).
Jesus must have been serious when He told the church to go to the Gentiles! Peter reported to his peers how God had led him to a whole new audience. By the time they heard the story, they glorified God for the new ministry. They remained teachable. The moment you stop learning, you stop leading.
No task Too Small (Acts 11:22-24). If any early church leader could be called a servant, it is Barnabas. He took initiative and did whatever it took to raise morale, men, or money. He led with clarity and example by becoming a servant. He considered no task too small.
Barnabas didn’t have to play games, He didn’t have to guard his reputation or fear that he would lose popularity. Barnabas didn’t maintain a facade or image. He remained authentic, vulnerable and transparent . He could rejoice with other’s victories (Acts11:23) and never wondered about his own fame.
If God called you to be another Barnabas to another Paul— if you knew that this new, emerging leader would soon overshadow you—would you accept the call? In other words, are you a servant to serve the Lord? You must love your people more than your position. Barnabas mentioned Paul, he happily let the emerging apostle rise above him. Barnabas didn’t feel the need to project his self-worth or prove himself to anyone. Barnabas did nothing to prove, nothing to hide or nothing to lose.This shows servanthood just like Jesus our Lord’s Attitude.
Let us pray to God, that Holy Spirit lead us to reflect Jesus Christ standard in our Attitude, Behaviour and Character, when we interact with people around us. In Jesus name Amen.
Yours in Christ,
Mercy joy, Bangalore.