Summary: Uses Barnabas as an example of the the qualities God looks for in the life of someone He uses to make an impact.
MAKING AN IMPACT WITH YOUR LIFE 8 12
For more than a week, Gladys, Drew and I have enjoyed our evenings together, watching the Olympics. We have enjoyed watching our athletes accomplish amazing things. They have broken records, lifted amazing weights, ran like the wind, swam faster than imaginable, scored baskets over their opponents’ heads and spiked the ball at their feet. We have enjoyed watching as the medal count for our country has increased each night, and thank the Lord that we live in a country with so many talented and gifted people; and in a country so blessed with material things that so many people can devote so much of their time and resources to athletics.
Let me ask you, in the end, what have we really accomplished? I have seen people crying, because after devoting the largest portion of their lives to a sport, they lose by 1/100 of a second, or they lose their balance, or someone trips them. Is that what life is about, setting records that will be broken in a few years? Is that what it means to make a mark, or make your life count, to set a speed record that will be broken in 6 months, or to buy a new car that will no longer feel new in a few months, or to build a house you will downsize from in a couple of decades?
Can we not make more of an impact with our lives? Can we not make our lives count for more?
In the 11th chapter of Acts, we find a man described who made such a great impact with his life that we are still talking about it today.
The church was growing. The kingdom of God was expanding. People’s lives were being changed, marriages restored, parents loving their children. The kingdom was expanding through the specific instructions of God to Peter, and then through a lot of joy-filled Christians talking to their neighbors, so that even Gentiles were being saved. It was an exciting time for those early Christians.
Doctor Luke in Acts was excitedly writing about the changes and expansion going on, and then here in the middle of his writing he pauses to jot a quick note about one of the men God was using to bring about these changes. He pauses to tell us a little about Barnabas.
I. WHO HE WAS – Acts 11:24
1. He was a good man – Character – He was like Jesus. He went around doing good. He had a good reputation.
Was he perfect? No, he made mistakes. He sinned. The Bible says, “There is none righteous, no not one.” He made mistakes. He got his priorities out of wack from time-to-time. We all do. But, he was a good man. He was not perfect, but he sure wanted to be.
Notice – verse 23. He saw a revival going on. He saw people being saved and lives being changed. He saw a work of God going on and Christians sharing like they should, and he was excited.
Sometimes, sadly in politics, the only time we’re happy the economy is doing well is if our party or our particular group is heading things up at the time. Similarly, there are some who are only happy about a revival or a great growth in the church when they are at the head, or when the revival or growth is happening at their church. They want the credit.
Not Barnabas. He got there, saw what was happening, and he was happy. He was excited. He didn’t care who got the credit. He was just glad that people were being saved, their homes were being healed, the kingdom was growing and people were praising God. Why, because he was a good man.
He was a man who knew what he believed and he acted on his beliefs. He didn’t talk it, he walked it. He had character.
2. He was full of the Holy Spirit – Christianity – Can’t be filled with the Holy Spirit if you aren’t a Christian. That’s where the filling begins. But he not only had the Holy Spirit in his life, which all Christians do, because Paul says “If any man hath not the Spirit of God, he is none of His.”
He not only had the Holy Spirit in his life, but he was filled to the brim with the Holy Spirit. He was so filled with God that He was oozing out all over. How do you know?
a. Filled with joy – Singing and making music in your heart. It’s demonstrated by your conversation … You’ll be a joy to be around.
Look, if you are a sourpuss and people try to avoid you, don’t tell me you are filled with the Holy Spirit.