Participants: Floyd Bresee
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000371
00:31 Hi, I'm Pastor Floyd Bresee.
00:36 And I have been thinking,
00:38 it seems to me there will be lot more Christians,
00:42 if Christians were a lot more Christ like.
00:45 Let's pray about it.
00:48 Heavenly Father, please teach us something today
00:54 that will help us become more Christ like Christians,
00:58 we pray in Jesus name, amen.
01:04 Our focus today will be on Barnabas.
01:08 Barnabas, the encourager.
01:11 Please open your Bible
01:13 to the Book of Acts and the 11 Chapter.
01:16 I will be using the New International Version.
01:20 Did you ever wandered through a graveyard
01:23 looking at the epitaphs on the tombstones.
01:28 One tombstone in our Georgia cemetery
01:31 reads 'I told you and I was sick',
01:35 a very unique epitaph is in the Maryland cemetery.
01:39 'Here lies an atheist
01:41 all dressed up and no place to go.'
01:47 I sometimes wonder if I should die tonight,
01:52 what my epitaph would be.
01:55 What would people be able to honestly say about you?
01:59 What would your epitaph be?
02:03 My favorite epitaph is that of Barnabas.
02:06 In Acts, the 11 Chapter and the 24 verse,
02:11 "He was a good man,
02:14 full of the Holy Spirit and faith,
02:17 and a great number of people were brought to the Lord."
02:23 He was a good man.
02:26 How simple, how profound, He was a good man.
02:33 Actually, Barnabas was also a rich man.
02:37 He was a hardworking man.
02:41 But the highest praise that can be bestowed
02:44 upon a Christian was bestowed on Barnabas.
02:47 He was a good man.
02:52 How could the Bible write that epitaph of Barnabas?
02:56 He was a good man.
02:58 What's the Bible definition of a good man, or a good woman?
03:05 Our lesson today is from the life of Barnabas
03:10 and it's just this, the good are those
03:14 who find good in others, this good man.
03:17 As we look at his life,
03:19 we find a Bible definition of what it means to be good.
03:22 The good are those who find good in others.
03:27 For example, the good encourage the discouraged.
03:34 Barnabas' father named him Joseph,
03:37 which means one who gets ahead.
03:41 But his peers nicknamed him Barnabas,
03:45 one who encourages others.
03:49 If your peers nicknamed you, those who live with you,
03:54 those who work with you, those who know you best.
03:57 If they put you into one nickname,
03:59 one word, what would that word be?
04:02 What word would best describe who you are?
04:08 The word that best described Barnabas,
04:10 apparently he was an encourager.
04:15 He encouraged the discouraged.
04:18 Three years after Paul's conversion,
04:21 the Jews tried to kill him in Damascus.
04:24 His friends lowered him over the wall
04:26 and he barely escaped with his life.
04:30 Discouraged Paul hurried for Jerusalem,
04:33 greatly in need of encouragement,
04:35 but the brother and sisters in Jerusalem
04:39 didn't trust their former persecutor.
04:42 Acts, the 9 Chapter and verses 26 and 27,
04:48 "When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples,
04:52 but they were all afraid of him,
04:53 not believing that he really was a disciple.
04:56 But Barnabas took him
04:58 and brought him to the apostles.
05:01 He told them how Saul on his journey has seen the Lord
05:05 and that the Lord had spoken to him,
05:07 and how in Damascus he has preached
05:10 fearlessly in the name of Jesus."
05:16 Barnabas, the encourager.
05:21 You ever have your car stalled maybe off miles away
05:26 from nowhere, or maybe you had a dead battery
05:31 and there you sit all hopeless and all discouraged,
05:36 you have appointments to keep,
05:37 but you have no way to get there, discouraged.
05:42 And then someone pulls up alongside you.
05:46 Opens their hood and your hood,
05:48 brings out the jumper cables and in a few moments
05:52 you're up and away and gone.
05:57 This is what the word encourager,
05:59 Barnabas the encourager,
06:00 it means one who comes alongside.
06:04 Barnabas was one who came alongside
06:09 those who were discouraged
06:10 and helped them get going again.
06:15 Out there somewhere,
06:17 there is someone who would be in your church,
06:21 if they were not fearful of rejection.
06:25 Someone out there who needs a Barnabas
06:29 to introduce him to the believers.
06:34 You know, someone who's discouraged,
06:36 maybe sick or grieving or having family problems
06:41 or maybe financial hardships,
06:45 what are you doing to encourage them?
06:48 Are you an encourager of the discouraged?
06:55 Jackie Robinson was the first African-American
06:59 who played in major league baseball in the United States.
07:06 And the people simply were not used to seeing
07:10 a black man playing in major league baseball.
07:15 They booed him every place he went,
07:18 when he went down south,
07:20 they booed him from the stands
07:21 and when he came back to Brooklyn
07:23 and played at Ebbets field, they booed him there too.
07:28 One day in the midst of a game,
07:31 Jackie Robinson committed an error playing second base.
07:37 The stands erupted, they really gave
07:42 the poor second basement the raspberries.
07:48 Pee Wee Reese was Brooklyn's much admired shortstop
07:58 and Pee Wee Reese didn't say a word,
08:01 but he walked over to a second base
08:05 where Jackie was standing with his head down
08:09 and the shortstop reached up
08:12 and he put his hand on the arm of Jackie Robinson
08:22 and as he stood there,
08:24 the stands out of respect for Pee Wee Reese went quiet.
08:31 Jackie Robinson later said,
08:33 it was that hand on his arm that saved his career.
08:40 Have you put your hand on the arm
08:43 of someone who is discouraged?
08:46 The good according to the life of Barnabas are those
08:52 who find good and help the discouraged people.
08:59 The good are those who find good in all kinds of people.
09:04 Christians were persecuted in Jerusalem
09:06 especially after the stoning of Stephen
09:09 and they, they fled, then that's how Christianity
09:12 actually was dispersed.
09:13 Some of them went some 280 miles north
09:16 to a town called Antioch,
09:19 and there these Jewish Christians
09:22 began to actually share their faiths with the Gentiles.
09:26 We get the story in Acts,
09:29 the 11 Chapter and the 22 verse.
09:33 Acts 11 and verse 22,
09:37 "News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem
09:42 and they sent Barnabas to Antioch."
09:47 Barnabas, you see,
09:48 was able to see good in others,
09:51 both the holier than thou Jews and the licentious Gentiles.
09:56 He found the way to bring people together.
10:01 He was a good man, because he knew
10:03 how to bring people together.
10:08 Down in New Orleans, Katrina drowned people
10:13 out of their homes and up in Detroit,
10:19 there was a Victor Martin,
10:21 who owned a best western motel in Detroit
10:27 and he called the Detroit City officials
10:30 and said that if some of the refugees
10:35 were to come here his way, he would give them free rooms.
10:39 And sure enough, it wasn't too long
10:42 before an old Grand Cherokee pulled up in front of his motel
10:48 and out piled 11 people
10:50 and they were able to get 11 people in that old car
10:53 because they didn't have
10:55 a single thing to bring with them.
10:58 So he sent out to word to the community
11:01 and they began bringing close and before long,
11:05 he had two of his ballrooms filled with clothes.
11:10 He put a box out in the, the entrance to his motel
11:15 and people filled that up with cash day by day.
11:19 And he sent word out to the community
11:22 and they had a picnic together
11:24 and this man had the gift
11:27 of bringing very different people,
11:29 usually of different race
11:31 but he brought people together.
11:34 This was the gift of Barnabas,
11:38 one reason he was called a good man,
11:41 because he had the gift of bringing people together.
11:46 Now when Barnabas saw results, he welcomed change.
11:52 Very important, especially
11:54 for conservative Christians to understand.
11:57 Note, if you will now, verse 23,
12:00 "When he arrived and saw
12:02 the evidence of the grace of God,
12:05 he was glad and encouraged them all to remain
12:09 true to the Lord with all their hearts."
12:15 He welcomed change.
12:18 Now, this must not have been easy for Barnabas.
12:22 He was a Levite from the priestly tribe.
12:27 He had been emerged in Jewish law
12:30 and Jewish tradition deeply steeped in Jewish thinking
12:35 but he could change.
12:38 To many Christians find nothing
12:40 so unbearable in all the world as the pain of a new idea.
12:47 A new approach to worship, or new kinds of songs to sing,
12:52 a new kind of evangelistic outreach.
12:57 Now, it's important to know this,
12:59 not every change is good.
13:02 It says that Barnabas first of all checked it out
13:06 and after he had checked it out
13:09 and he had seen the good results
13:11 then he gave his whole-hearted support.
13:16 Now the good find good in problem youth.
13:24 Discouraged by circumstances,
13:27 young Mark had once given up traveling
13:31 with the other evangelists and serving the Lord.
13:35 Now, little later on in Acts 15
13:40 and verses 36 to 38 of Acts 15,
13:45 "Some time later Paul said to Barnabas,
13:49 "Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns
13:52 where we had preached the word of the Lord
13:54 and see how they are doing.
13:56 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark,
13:59 with them, but Paul did not think it was wise to take him,
14:03 because he had deserted them in Pamphylia
14:05 and had not continued with them in the work."
14:10 And so there was a problem
14:12 that developed between Paul and Barnabas.
14:20 This fellow Mark had once worked together with them.
14:27 But when he found that the team was going
14:31 to head into the interior of Asia Minor,
14:34 Mark looked at the mountains
14:36 and the inhospitable country ahead
14:39 and he looked down in the harbor
14:40 where a ship was heading for Jerusalem
14:43 and this mama's boy went out and headed for home.
14:48 How many have started their Christian journey
14:51 and given up when the going gets hard?
14:55 Some Christian has been unkind
14:58 or some prayers seem to have been unanswered.
15:02 But encouraged by Barnabas,
15:04 Mark later got a second chance.
15:08 In verse 39, they had such, that is Paul and Barnabas,
15:13 "They had such a sharp disagreement
15:15 that they parted company.
15:17 Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus,"
15:23 Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus.
15:27 How I would love to be your Barnabas today.
15:32 If you have failed, if you have turned away
15:35 and you want another chance,
15:37 everybody deserves a second chance and this day,
15:42 God offered you a second chance.
15:46 The Christian army has a dreadful
15:48 history of shooting its wounded.
15:51 It's true, we must stand up for beliefs,
15:55 but we must always love people
15:57 who are hurting and people who are failing.
16:01 Everybody has right to a second chance.
16:04 How many marriages could be saved
16:06 if you were just willing to give a second chance?
16:10 How many youth would be saved
16:12 if we would just be willing to overlook
16:15 some of their mistakes in the past
16:17 and give them a second chance?
16:20 Be a Barnabas, one who encourages the discouraged.
16:25 It's tough time of life when you're young.
16:30 Catch young people doing
16:32 something right and commend them for it.
16:34 We're inclined to catch them
16:35 doing something wrong and condemn them for it.
16:40 Paul judged Mark by his past,
16:43 Barnabas by his potential, not by what he was,
16:48 but by what he might become.
16:52 And by the way, have you thanked
16:54 the Barnabases in your life?
16:57 Those in your past and maybe in your youth
17:00 who believed in you when others wrote you off.
17:05 Pastor William Stager was attending one of these classes
17:08 where he encouraged to write a note of appreciation
17:11 to somebody in your background
17:12 and he wrote to his old literature teacher.
17:16 She was the one who had somehow
17:19 brighten his mind and turned him on to,
17:22 to towards in language and literature
17:24 and he wrote to thank her for it
17:26 and received a reply back.
17:30 She said, 'I'm in my 80s and I'm alone.
17:36 I've spent my lifetime teaching.
17:38 I feel like I'm the last leaf to fall from the tree.
17:43 You're the first one to write and thank me."
17:48 If there is someone who helped you through your ills,
17:51 why not thank your Barnabas?
17:55 Now, how can we call Barnabas a good man?
17:59 Well another description we find,
18:01 the good grow where they're planted.
18:04 Barnabas did a first class job of second place.
18:10 I found 22 times, the names of Paul and Barnabas
18:15 are mentioned together and the first six times,
18:19 it was always Barnabas and Paul,
18:21 Barnabas and Paul, Barnabas and Paul.
18:24 Later on, almost invariably it became Paul and Barnabas,
18:29 Paul and Barnabas, the one who had first been paramount,
18:33 it became secondary.
18:36 When you're behind someone pushing them forward,
18:40 you're not going to be very visible.
18:44 But Barnabas was contained,
18:45 he grew where he was planted.
18:49 You ever hear that silly little ditty,
18:52 'I'm the only little petunia in an onion patch,
18:57 an onion patch, an onion patch.
19:00 I'm the only little petunia in an onion patch
19:03 and all I do is cry all day.
19:07 Boo hoo, boo hoo, all I do is cry all day."
19:14 Some people spend their lifetime crying
19:19 about where they have been planted.
19:24 If I just had different parents,
19:26 if I just had a different job or a different spouse
19:30 or different looks or different gifts
19:31 or different circumstances.
19:37 Now how would you go about seeing good in others?
19:41 We learn this lesson also from Barnabas.
19:45 How do we go about seeing good in others.
19:48 We do it by comparing ourselves only with Christ.
19:52 You see, when we compare ourselves with others,
19:55 we are tempted to look further bad
19:58 in order to make ourselves look good.
20:04 Notice Acts, the 11 Chapter and the 24 verse,
20:10 Acts 11:24, this was our first text
20:14 and notice once more,
20:15 "He, speaking of Barnabas, was a good man,
20:18 full of the Holy Spirit and faith,
20:21 and a great number of people were brought to the Lord."
20:27 A great number of people were brought to the Lord,
20:32 because he had faith.
20:36 What does it mean?
20:37 Christian faith means trusting Christ, faith in Christ.
20:42 He trust in Christ to put him where he needed to be,
20:45 to do what he ought to be doing.
20:47 Barnabas didn't have any need to compare himself with Paul.
20:51 He trusted the one Christ made him.
20:54 He didn't need another great preacher.
20:55 He needed a great encourager.
20:59 Barnabas was continually looking on to Jesus,
21:03 the author and finisher of our faith.
21:09 In my school, when I was a kid,
21:12 we used to have the alphabet on the border,
21:18 just above the blackboard.
21:22 And when I was trying to learn, to write,
21:26 I wasn't very good at it.
21:28 But I didn't have to look at the student next to me
21:31 or even the teacher who wrote,
21:33 I thought so beautifully.
21:35 I could look up there, like the perfect pattern
21:38 and by watching and studying
21:40 and following the perfect pattern,
21:43 eventually even I learned to write.
21:48 You don't have to look at your peers to know what is right.
21:52 You don't have to look at just the leaders
21:54 around you, you look at Christ.
21:56 Look up at the perfect pattern.
22:00 Looking on to Jesus. Looking for Jesus everywhere.
22:06 We're able to find something
22:08 a little bit Christ like in everyone.
22:15 Did you catch that?
22:17 If we look for Jesus everywhere,
22:20 we will find a little bit of Christ in everyone.
22:29 You look at world around you and you see Christ
22:34 because you're wanting to look for Christ everywhere.
22:38 You open the book and you see Christ,
22:41 because you're committed to finding Christ,
22:44 looking for Christ everywhere.
22:46 If you're totally committed
22:48 to looking for Christ everywhere,
22:50 then when you look at other people,
22:52 you're going to look for the Christ in them too,
22:54 because there is a little bit of Christ
22:56 in every man and every woman.
23:00 So it starts with focusing on Jesus
23:04 and I am going to see Jesus everywhere
23:09 in everything and in everyone.
23:13 It changes our whole approach to living
23:15 and it certainly changes our approach
23:18 to relationships with other people.
23:22 Because if I look for Christ everywhere,
23:25 I'm going to look for Christ in every person I meet.
23:30 So what a contribution encouragers make.
23:37 Without the encourager,
23:38 possibly there would have been no Gospel of Mark.
23:44 Perhaps, wouldn't have been no writings of Paul.
23:48 If Barnabas had not taken Mark back,
23:51 he might have just kind of slipped into oblivion.
23:55 If Barnabas had not brought Paul to the brethren
23:59 and encouraged them to pay attention to Paul,
24:02 then writings of Paul
24:03 would probably never have been accepted,
24:07 perhaps the books would never have been written.
24:11 Barnabas never wrote a book of the Bible,
24:15 but Barnabas encouraged two men
24:19 who wrote nearly one-half of the New Testament.
24:27 Be a Barnabas, the good man.
24:30 The good are those who find good in others.
24:36 The good encourage the discouraged.
24:40 The good find good in all kinds of people.
24:45 The good find good in problem,
24:48 the young people and the good grow
24:53 where they're planted.
24:56 How can I be that kind of good person?
25:01 How can I see good in everybody?
25:04 To see good in others,
25:06 we compare ourselves only with Christ.
25:09 Be so focused on Him,
25:12 that you see a little bit of Him in everyone you meet
25:18 and you see a little bit of Him everywhere you go.
25:21 Look for Christ in your fellowmen,
25:24 that's what it means,
25:26 to always be looking on to Jesus.
25:31 The U.S. Marine Corps is always looking for volunteers.
25:36 They're always are in need of more volunteers,
25:40 local recruiter, he's given assignment,
25:42 he's got to attract certain number of volunteers
25:47 and so they advertise perpetually for volunteers.
25:51 And the slogan which I'm sure
25:53 you have seen many times in many places,
25:57 'we're looking for a few good men.'
26:04 Christ is too, you know.
26:06 Christ is in desperate need of volunteers.
26:11 He's always looking for volunteers.
26:15 He's looking for a few good men and women.
26:20 He's looking for more Barnabases in our day.
26:24 He's looking for volunteers
26:26 who will be like Barnabas, encouragers.
26:31 Remember, the good are those who find good in others.
26:38 Let's pray, Father,
26:43 we do want to be Barnabases.
26:47 Please help us focus our lines on You and on our Lord
26:55 so completely that we see
26:58 a little bit of You in everyone we meet.
27:03 Use us I pray, to always be encouragers of others.
27:09 This is our prayer in Jesus name, amen.
27:15 May I challenge you now, go out and be a Barnabas.
27:21 Find somebody that needs encouragement
27:26 and share encouragement with them.
27:30 Thank you so much for tuning
27:34 into 'Faith Chapel' again today.
27:37 I hope I'd a little time together.
27:40 Be of some practical help to you,
27:43 as by looking to Jesus,
27:46 you want to become more and more like Him
27:49 and see Him more and more in other people.
27:52 May God richly bless you and yours.