In more than three decades of my Christian life, I have been blest by 2 types of Daily devos'
(matter not exceeding 500 words) in universal Christian literature. Not only those Devos'
which have a different theme everyday but also the ones which revolve around a certain
theme over a period of time, say a fortnight, have richly edified me. In fact, both
styles have their own inherent advantages. If the former style caters to the varying
spiritual needs of a christian from day-to-day, the latter aims 'to ground'
a child of God in a certain subject in order he derives the full benefits of the
deep insightful study of a certain topic, spread over a fixed span of time.
In my Daily devo page, I have consciously tried to go in for 'a blend of both the
styles' whereby within a constant theme, I would be aiming to focus on different
facets of it which admittedly is a closer imitation of the 'Constant theme' style
than the 'Varying topics' one.
Having dwelt on the topics
- “The Christian journey”
- “ The Conquest of Canaan” and the
- “Lent season”.
in the previous months, now in the months of April and May, considering that
post resurrection of Christ (one of our concluding themes’ you would remember
in the meditations of March, was Resurrection), birth of the Church was a
landmark event in Biblical history, I want to cast the spotlight on the Book of
Acts (which records the birth and growth of the Church). This would ensure to a large
extent continuity of thought albeit under the ambit of new subject.
Once again, let me wish you a happy and an edifying read…
A Sponsor and a Mentor
When he (Saul) came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all
afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and
brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord
had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.
So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.–
- Acts 9:26-28
News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the
Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were
brought to the Lord.
Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch.
So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people.
The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. -
Can any study (brief or detailed) about the life and times of Apostle Paul
ever be complete without a mention of his mentor Barnabas? Barnabas
an early Church leader true to his name “Son of encouragement”
(now encouragers’ by nature are those who take initiatives) was the one who
took it upon himself to introduce Paul the erstwhile persecutor of the Church
to the other disciples, who were quite justifiably viewing him till then with a
fair degree of suspicion. Not only that, when Paul was in Tarsus
(having completed his Desert training sojourn), it was Barnabas who again took
the initiative of seeking him out and bringing him to the Antioch Church,
where Paul had a highly fruitful teaching ministry. And finally who other than
Barnabas should lead Paul in his historic First Missionary journey
Humility was another outstanding feature in Barnabas, as he would meekly(keeping the bigger cause in mind)
make way for Paul taking the lead on more than one occasion in their First Missionary journey,
despite being the senior partner
14:8-10) in mission.
Lastly, the Barnabas –Paul (mentor-mentee) relationship illustrates that both individuals in the
mentoring relationship should recognize the change when the mentoring relationship is finally over,
but still find way to support each other on their mutual missions. Eventually though Barnabas and
Paul went to different locations, both could accept and support each others apostolic call
Let it said that undoubtedly Barnabas mentoring influence inspired Paul to don mentor’s role
in his own ministry especially when it came to shaping up young novices like Silas,
Timothy and Titus into effective Church leaders.
Pray tell me reader, is the Lord laying a burden on you to mentor someone…more importantly
entrust your mentee with greater responsibilities, even if it means spotlight would now rest upon your mentee?
Lord Jesus, lay in us a good mentor’s mentality, even if it means a good amount of
sacrificial investment of resources. Help us train selflessly a new set of leaders,
to take over our responsibilities, when it is time for us to move away from the scene. AMEN.