November 30, 2019 · 8:28 AM
“Barnabas” is a Greek word, but it is spelled the same in Greek and in English. The name means “Son of rest, or consolation” according to Greek lexicons. Biblically, it is the name of a Levite, native of Cyprus, who was a distinguished Christian teacher, missionary companion, and colleague of the apostle Paul.
Since his name appears in the New Testament some twenty-nine times, the question naturally arises, “What did Barnabas do that was so right?” Think with me!
Barnabas contributed heavily to the need of the saints in Jerusalem immediately following Pentecost, Acts 4:36-37. This is the first mention of his name, but far from the last.
Barnabas was first to receive Saul as a changed man after the Damascus Road experience. He brought him to the apostles, being quick to recognize the work of God in the life of another. Acts 9:26-28.
Barnabas answered the call to help the newly formed church at Antioch. He realized the enormity of the task and immediately went to Tarsus to enlist the help of Saul. He and Saul taught much in the church at Antioch for an entire year. Then he, with Saul, carried relief for the suffering saints in Jerusalem. Afterward, he answered with Saul, the call to carry the gospel to regions beyond.
Barnabas preached the Word in Cyprus, and Galatia. He suffered persecution with Saul in Derbe and Lystra.
In spite of considerable dissention between himself and Saul, who had now come to be known as Paul, over the weakness and failure of John Mark, he teamed up with Mark and went on preaching the gospel in regions beyond, not letting a strong difference of opinion become a stumbling block to his God-called ministry.
Barnabas is last mentioned in Colossians 4:10 as a relative to Mark who though once rejected by Paul was encouraged to be received and used of the saints.
In short, Barnabas lived an admirable life of dedicated service to God, and to his fellow men. And that is so right!
As it was with him, so it is with many modern day disciples. The obstacles, the persecution, and the fleshly desire for one’s own comfort zone will be there, and exert themselves more than once. But the gospel burns a fire in the bones, and the grace of God that is sufficient for every man comes to the forefront. We love God because He first loved us. He took our place on the cross, and opened wide heaven’s gates for us. We must tell it, and that is so right!
November 23, 2019 · 10:16 AM
who claim to be Christians have a fairly strong conviction that they
are indeed a thankful people. Perhaps that perception arises out of
experiences of the past century. It was only one hundred years ago
that the world was relieved by the ending of World War I, the war
said to be the bloodiest of all wars. With that war ending, the
nation entered an era of unparalleled prosperity in the roaring
twenties. But so, soon was the rug yanked out from under the nation
with the financial collapse of 1929, followed by a decade-long, Great
Depression. Next, came World War II, then the Korean conflict, and
Vietnam. Through these monumental events also came industrial,
educational, and technological break-through in rapid advancement.
The inflationary measures that now loom as a doomsday pitfall, was
viewed as a blessing a half century ago, When, at last, people had
some money. Production of material things flooded the markets for
people to buy. There came new cars, new houses, new clothes, and a
million other things. People were happy. People were thankful.
Some pundit said that “America is the only country on
earth where people will trample you to get to annual sales items on
the day after they proclaimed they were truly thankful for what they
have.” Somehow, that paints a mental picture that is oxymoronic,
and far from the humble, grateful spirit – the attitude of gratitude
– so prominent among the early pilgrims. They knew it was only by the
grace of God that they survived the harsh obstacles of life in an
But thankfulness is not an attitude franchised
by the poor, deprived, and/or oppressed upon their achieving better
circumstances. It is rather a vastly important plank in the platform
of wisdom to those who seize and employ its model. Whether poor or
wealthy, ignorant or educated, ill or healthy, the blessings of the
Almighty are superabundant to those who look for them. And, the look
need not be far. A peek deep down inside at a view restricted to the
individual and God tells it all, and it does not lie. What is the
scene? Is it spoiled, selfish longing for some self-exalting
acquisition of popularity, power, or material thing that will
ultimately contribute to ruin? Is it gratefulness to God for life
itself? Is it the mountainous blessings afforded God’s children,
and a heart of thankful realization upon confronting or hearing of so
many unfortunate cases which evoke a soft, sincere, whisper: “There,
but by the grace of God go I.” Truly, those who know Jesus the
Christ on a personal basis should be the most thankful people on the
planet. Introspection! How does it tell your story?
November 20, 2019 · 12:54 PM
array of Biblical characters is as broad as life in any generation,
this one notwithstanding. They are presented unshielded, fully
depicting the depravity of man, and they are also presented in the
marvelous glory of sinful men serving the Lord in righteousness
through the grace of Christ Jesus. One such character that stands in
the biblical spotlight is Apollos, introduced to us in Acts
18:24-19:7. Think with me about him.
One outstanding attribute
of Apollos was his educational level. He was an Alexandrian Jew. This
meant he was native to the thriving city of Alexandria on the
northern African coast. The city was commensurate with Carthage and
Rome. It was especially an educationally motivated city with the best
libraries of the world, and renown teachers. Consequently, Apollos
excelled in arts. He was a polished speaker commanding a large
vocabulary and great skills in debate.
It is to the credit of
Apollos that he had received Christ Jesus as his personal Savior, and
answered the burden to preach the Word. However, his understanding of
much of Christianity was incomplete. Consequently, he did not preach
or practice correctly. Paul discovered the error of Apollos as he
came upon a group presenting themselves as a New Testament church,
but without the obvious blessing they should have had. The error of
their baptism previously administered by Apollos was corrected, but
neither the spiritual salvation of this group nor the baptism of John
About that time, two of Paul’s faithful
helpers, Aquila and Priscilla heard him preach. Noting his lack of
information, they took him aside and expounded the way of the Lord
more perfectly. Perhaps it was over a fried chicken dinner on Sunday
How did that work out? The truth which Aquila and
Priscilla shared fit perfectly with the incomplete information
Apollos had. He received that truth, and he was thankful for the
spiritual help afforded him. He went on to become a respected
minister by Paul who recommended him, and used him to confound the
Jews, and to edify the saints. His name is called a number of times
in the Pauline epistles. His humility, dedication, and sharing the
gospel as uniquely as only one with his background could do was so
right. It is also right that all of us should follow that example.
November 18, 2019 · 9:19 PM
To many, that name is a byword, an identification of troubles, and
trials in life that rings down through the ages. But it is a powerful
reminder that bad things really do happen to good people, and
sometimes it is hard to understand why, or for what purpose.
his case, Job was a righteous man, highly blessed of God whom he both
knew and served. Unknown to him was a trial coming his way that
easily transcended the mastery of man, but that is not what it was
all about. It was a testing for time and eternity to friend and foe
that the grace of God is sufficient in whatever temptations, trials,
and illnesses life may bring.
God held Job up as an example, but
Satan insisted that it was all because of the blessings of God upon
him. Take those away, he said, and Job would curse God. (hum, sounds
like Satan had already witnessed human failure.)
began. Job lost his sons, all of them. He lost his great herds of
cattle, camels, and other animals. Last but not least, Job broke out
in severe boils all over his body. He could stand no clothing so he
sat in a pile of ashes, covering himself with them, and scrapping his
wounds with shredded pottery. To say that he was one extremely
miserable character would be a gross understatement. This went on for
days, then weeks, then months. His friends who came to console him
only succeeded in making matters worse through their lack of
Misery was piled upon misery! So much so that all
generations after him recoil at the bad things God allowed Satan to
cast upon him. So, what did Job do that was so right?
resisted temptation to sin with his lips. Even when his wife in
doubtless pity urged him to cast off his integrity, and curse God and
die. Job blessed the Lord.
Job exalted God in praise, avowing
that he knew his Savior and that He would stand in the latter day
upon the earth. He testified that even though he should die and skin
worms destroy his body, yet he would see God with his own eyes and
not those of another.
Although Job did not have scriptures to
bolster his faith as modern mankind does, he remained true to God,
and to the faith he had been given. To put God first, and as one’s
only hope beyond this vail of tears is always the right thing to do.
Job did just that, and you., dear reader, should follow that example
because it is so right!!
November 16, 2019 · 11:54 AM
owners look with great expectation to the trees under their care.
They nourish, protect, and defend them from pestilence, and anything
else that would prevent full fruition. They are happy with the many
blossoms, small buds, and developing fruit. Anticipation of Harvest
time is truly filled with excitement, and the joy of abundant
blessings. But once harvest is over, then what? The tree is still
valuable, but it has given all that it can give. There will be no
more fruit to glean, and the eye of anticipation no longer sees as it
did before. It is a tree, now ordinary and fruitless, having given
all. It is interesting to note that this idea is presented in the
Word with reference to our Lord and Savior.
In Psalm 22 which is
prophetic of the life and sacrifice of Jesus, the word used to
describe him in verse six is “reproach.” The verse states, “But
I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the
people.” The word “worm” here is the “tolah” worm that was
crushed to yield the blood used to dye fabrics with the color of
royalty. The term “reproach” is a translation of the Hebrew word
“Charaph.” which conveys the idea of a picked tree with nothing
more to give. That term used here of Jesus describes how many people
see Him as He has given all for the harvest of the souls of men. The
people expected that the miracles He invoked for others would surely
be invoked for Himself thus giving them a super personage in which to
glory in the flesh. They were sadly disappointed.
the forces of sin and evil rejoiced at the crucifixion, the crushing
of that “tolah” worm, wrought robes of righteousness for the
royal children of the King. Moreover, those who avail themselves of
the fruit yielded by that tree find eternal, spiritual sustenance,
and a white robe of royal righteousness in which to stand before the
Creator. To the world, and to most of Jewish rulers, the tree was
picked, and not worthy of a second glance, but to those who have
tasted the fruit of that tree found life and hope of so much more
that is to come.
So, how do you see Him dear reader? Is He a
disappointment, or a wellspring of eternal joy? Is He a picked tree
to be turned away from, or is He the Living Tree of Life with the
fruit of eternal righteousness to all who receive Him in repentance
and faith? My prayer is that you see Him as the latter, even the
bread of life that one may eat and not hunger again; as the fruit of
all righteousness that one may receive and have no sin imputed by the
heavenly Father. There He is, the TREE at the crossroads of time and
eternity in the life of everyone.
November 16, 2019 · 11:36 AM
A DEADLY SIN
the church of the Living God at Corinth, the beloved Apostle Paul
called attention to the terrible failures of Israel in the wilderness
wanderings. In I Cor. 10:4, he recalls a most intriguing and
interesting phenomenon. A certain Rock appeared wherever the Hebrews
made camp, as though it were (because it was) following them. Now
this was not an ordinary rock. Paul calls it a spiritual rock.
Doubtless it appeared as a large hunk of stone to the Hebrews, but
something was very different about this rock. It’s story begins
early in the Hebrew exodus from Egypt. It is first mentioned in
Exodus 17:5-7. Moses was instructed to smite the rock which would
produce water in abundance for the people.
spiritual rock followed them, it is not known how many appearances it
made or how many times the Hebrews took special note of it, or how
many times they may have depended upon it for life sustaining water.
But, it comes into significant play some forty years later as water
was desperately needed, and the Hebrews were complaining because
there was none. God’s instruction to Moses now was different: “Take
the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy
brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall
give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of
the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts
drink.” Num. 20:8.
Most who are passingly familiar with the
Bible know Moses and Aaron did not follow God’s instructions, but
in frustration with the people smote the rock twice. Yes, life giving
water flowed, but God was not sanctified in the eyes of the people,
and it cost Aaron and Moses their life.
That rock was not
Jesus, but it was anointed (Christ is a Greek word that means
anointed in English) of God to typify mighty things about Jesus. It
showed among other things, God’s protection, solidarity, presence,
and sustainment of life. What God has to give mankind is freely
offered in Jesus, the Christ. He willingly died to give to all the
water of everlasting life. He is with His people and will never
forsake them: He is there! He never changes! Either He is one’s
life into the age of the ages, or that life shall be forfeited. Being
once smitten, He will not be smitten again, but forgives all who call
upon Him in repentance and faith.
The recipients of His
righteous blood’s cleansing that flowed from the smitten Anointed
One commit a similar sin as Moses and Aaron when they claim they have
become lost, and now must return to the Rock for a washing in His
blood the second time. He will not be smitten again, but he may be
spoken to in prayer and….”if we confess our sins, He is faithful
and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness.” I John 1:9 Hallelujah! What a Rock is our Savior!
November 9, 2019 · 8:59 PM
The Choice of Every
Her daughter was vexed with a devil. She was a gentile
believer begging Jesus for help. Jesus, Who was sent but to the lost
sheep of Israel said, “It is not appropriate to cast the children’s
meat to dogs.” Wow! What a rebuff! In modern times this would be a
significant cause for offense. Would this woman return home in a huff
with a mouth streaming bad words about Jesus? Quite the opposite.
Being outside of the covenant people of God, but understanding the
power of Jesus, she would not be denied. Instead of becoming angry,
she doubled down in humility. She replied, “Truth, Lord: yet the
dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
said, “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou
wilt.” Her daughter was made whole immediately.
Sin within us
is so offensive to God. The righteousness and mercy of God is so
offensive to the sin nature within us. When the two meet, sin will be
destroyed. Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken, but
on whomsoever it shall fall, it will indeed grind him to powder. Luke
So, it is so much better to be broken than to be ground
into powder. Those are the only choices. To be offended is to choose
the latter, to be blessed is to choose the former. The Canaanite
woman would not be offended, she was blessed! So are all those who
seek God in a repentant attitude. What about you, dear reader? Are
you offended or blessed? Be as wise and as humble at that Canaanite
November 8, 2019 · 8:17 PM
immigrant, not privileged to formal education signed her name Le—a.
After three wrong guesses the immigration officer asked her to
pronounce her name. She replied in haltering English, “Tha dash not
silent. It be LeDASHa!”
Perhaps this story brings a chuckle to
those who hear it, but there is a great truth to be gleaned from it.
The dash really is not silent! How many times have you casually
strolled through a cemetery? As you read the tombstones, you always
saw two dates. The first one was the date of birth of the individual
interred there. The second date was the date of death. In between
those two dates is a dash. That dash represents all the years that
particular individual lived on earth and interacted with others. What
about all those years? What happened in the dash? Was that person
loved and loving? Did he or she trust in Christ Jesus as their
personal Savior? Did they serve Him with the force of their life?
Were they a blessing to others, ready for that last date to
The inscriptions on the stone may identify the entombed
person as a unique individual, separated from all others, but it is
the dash that contains the multifaceted story of a life that was
known among us. That dash represents joy, love, responsibility,
opportunity, and all other things sandwiched between two important
dates: the beginning and the end. What are we writing into the “dash”
of our own unique dates? Wisdom bids us to hasten to do the things
that are good, the things that we would. For as surely as you have a
birthday, you also have a death-day. But these are not the things
people will remember you for, and they are not the things that are
important in heaven’s record. It is the dash, friends. The dash is
not silent, it is the sum of earthly life!
November 1, 2019 · 6:35 AM
We ought to be living
Jesus died yesterday,
is coming back this
Repent and Believe
Leave a commentNovember 23, 2019 · 10:41 AM