5 Lessons From the Life of Barnabas


Five Lessons From The Life of Barnabas

The Holy Bible is the book of all books, a book divinely inspired by God and laden with wisdom.

The writings of scriptures is replete with diverse examples from which we can learn. Many of these examples like the things which people did or failed to do have become teachings for us, their mistakes have become wisdom for us and their great deed for God, the church and the kingdom have become inspiration to us. One of such examples is Barnabas and there are things to learn from this saint whose labours of love will not go unrewarded.

Barnabas was among the early days teacher and prophet as seen in the scriptures (Acts 13:1). He was a ministry partner of Paul as God gave him and Paul an assignment to reach the Gentiles (Acts 13: 2-3). Here are five lessons that can be learned from the life of Barnabas:

1.   1. Barnabas was a selfless and cheerful giver: The first time the name of Barnabas was mentioned in the book of Acts (Acts 4:36-37), it was mentioned because of a selfless act and a sincere heart that gives cheerfully.

Acts 4:36-37

And Joses, who by the apostles was named Barnabas,(which is being interpreted, the son of consolation) a Levite and of the country of Cyprus,

Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles feet.


From the above scriptures, the type of heart that Barnabas had is revealed. He sold a field that belonged  to him and gave all the money  to the apostles so that the money could used to cater for the needs of brethren. Believers must learn and live in the consciousness that all we have is God's, we must not trust in our possessions but in God and we should always be ready to give whatever we have cheerfully to meet the needs of others.

2.    2. People will call and refer to you by your actions and not just your name.

If a naming ceremony had been held for Barnabas when he was born, he was not named Barnabas. People don't realize that his parents  didn't name him Barnabas but Joses. Later on in life, as Barnabas lived a life that was a blessing to others, the apostles named him Barnabas which means “son of consolation”. He was named this because he was a blessing to the people around. If you needed encouragement and consolation, all you had to do was meet Barnabas and you will leave encouraged and consoled. Our lives as believers should be a blessing to others and others will remember you by how your life has blessed them.


3. Your spiritual state, attitude and conduct can help bring more people into God's kingdom.

It was said of Barnabas that he was a good man, a man full of faith and the holy ghost (Acts 11:22-24). Our lives as Christians will only be effective and reveal Christ to men to the extent that we are full of God's Spirit, faith and love.


4. Keeping the right company is essential to following God's plan for your life.

Man is a product of influence. Everything you are and you are doing today is a product of influence. You are Christian today  because you heard someone tell you about Christ, many things you do today is because you heard or saw someone do it. Therefore, the people we keep around us can either keep us in God's plan or keep us far from it. Barnabas had the right company, he came to know the assignment of God for him at a meeting with people of like minds :

Acts 13:1-2

Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, separate unto me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

As believers, we must be very deliberate about the people we fellowship with. Fellowshipping or spending time with the wrong set of people can either keep you out of God's will or keep you in it.


5. Believers must learn to accommodate one another and not strife even when we have our differences

The ministry of Paul and Barnabas together was one ordained on by God, their assignment was given to them by God (Acts 13:1). However, this God ordained relationship was brought to an abrupt end because of strife. Let's take a look at what happened:

Acts 15: 36-39

And some days after Paul said to Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. And Barnabas determined to take  with them John, whose surname was Mark.  But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. And the contention was to sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed into Cyprus.

The above scripture clearly paints what brought an end to the ministry relationship of Paul and Barnabas. It was recorded that the contention between them was a sharp one and this ended their relationship together as ministry parrners for their mames was never mentioned together again in scriptures. Could they have handled the situation differently? Definitely yes. We will always have differences and our opinions will sometime differ even if we are working together, but our difference should not bring about our separation. Both Barnabas and Paul could have accommodated each other's opinion and not necessarily disagree or separate.

The life of Barnabas is filled with many lessons and there are countless lessons to learn through deep study and meditation.


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