Blogger's Note:Well, we move on to November; and I alert you, especially those following my devotional journal entries, that we'll be continuing in the study of life of the dynamic NT Apostle, Paul. If you come along with me, I know we can learn a lot together which can apply to our own lives as co-ministers of the Gospel.
2009 – Day 304.Nov 01 – The Power of Two
2nd Passage for Study: Acts 11: 19 – 26 … Linked for your study …
My Journal for Today: Some time ago in Chuck Swindoll’s study of the converted Saul, who became Paul, we visited this passage where Barnabas went to pull Saul from his home town where Paul was witnessing under duress for Christ. With the leading of God’s Spirit, Barnabas, the “son of exhortation” knew that the reformed Paul was needed in Antioch; and he came to get Paul for the task of working together to build God’s newly formed Church. And when Paul and Barney got to the place where Christianity got its name, God began to use these two – together – to help build the church. And wow, what a pair they were! Barnabas moved into the background, encouraging Paul, and letting Paul take the lead to preach the gospel. And as Swindoll, teaches today … the power of two, when two those two can humbly work in surrender to the power of God, will produce so much more for God’s glory than just one who reaches out in God’s Name.
Swindoll quotes Warren Wiersbe, who wrote, “Ministry takes place when divine resources meet human needs through loving channels to the glory of God.” And that is what happened as two servants of God, Paul and Barnabas, came together to let God use their mutual gifting for His glory. One person surrendered to God and using His enabling grace for God’s kingdom is a powerful force; but two, working together, in tandem and yoked to God, the Holy Spirit, are a dynamo of power. It’s like the difference between one ox pulling a load and two who are yoked together. It is said that two oxen, yoked in tandem and trained to pull together, can pull twelve times the load of just one ox doing the work. But it is also true that when two oxen are not equally yoked they actually pull a lesser load than one strong and determined ox. That’s why Paul and Barnabas were such a powerful team.
Barney had no visions of taking the lead. He was fully willing to be the encourager and to let Paul be the lead evangelist. He had gone to Tarsus to get Paul because he recognized what a determined and gifted speaker, preacher, and teacher Paul was. And Barnabas had no designs on being the one who was up front in building the church and God’s kingdom. He also knew that Paul was going to need the support of encouragement; because he knew that Paul was going to face a lot of discouraging opposition, just as he had in Tarsus. But now they could work TOGETHER in a dynamic duo; and they did; and as we read, for a full year of their co-ministry in Antioch, the church grew rapidly.
Do you have a personal calling in ministry which uses your Spirit-imparted gifts for God’s glory? I hope you have discovered your gifts and how they can be used within the will of God’s calling for the kingdom of God. Assuming that you have, I would exhort you to find others in God’s Body who can supplement your gifts and can be used as were Paul and Barnabas working together. In my case I have a natural pairing for the ministry for which God has called my wife and I to be used together. Humbly I have been given the gift of teaching and encouragement; and my wife, Elly, has the gifts of administration and service, which are a perfect fit for her to work WITH ME, facilitating our teamwork for ministry as well as our pairing in our marriage.
So, I exhort you, my brothers and sisters to find your spiritual gift or gifts; and then find a Barnabas if you are a Paul or find a Paul if you’re a Barnabas. And then work together with that one (or more) to magnify your work in the calling all Christians have in the Great Calling and Commission (see Acts. 1: 8 and Matt. 28: 19-20 - linked here).
My Prayer for Today: Oh Lord, use those to whom You have yoked me for Your glory!