"Now Joseph, a Levite and native of Cyprus who was surnamed Barnabas by the apostles, which interpreted means Son of Encouragement, sold a field which belonged to him and brought the sum of money and laid it at the feet of the apostles." (Acts 4: 36-37, AMP)
There are occasions in our lives in which we feel we accomplish so much by getting accolades, promotions, and degrees for our self-assurance that what we "have" will sustain us and give us a sense of security. The word, INDEPENDENT, tells us that we can have it all and not depend on anyone to obtain it. However, if we know the God we serve, we will also know that the achievements that we obtained didn't just rest upon what we thought we could do on our own accord.
God gave us the strength, the drive, and the unction to go after those, not for ourselves, but for others. We probably also recognized that while we were working hard to obtain all of this, trials came, stress and opposition surfaced, but-we made it through. We had to because God chose us to use all that we had obtained to be a blessing to someone else.
We see that full well in the life of Barnabas. There was something about this man that caused the apostles to give him his surname, which mean Son of Encouragement. This man was a Levite, someone known in the day of Jesus as a priest. So he was indeed wealthy, enough so to have property and priestly position. He had every right to stay to himself and conduct his own affairs. However, the nature of his character signified he was much more than that. He was also a humble man who entrusted himself in the disciples and showcased that trust by offering his money from his sold property at their feet. I mean, seriously! Who really does that? Barnabas did and that trust resulted in the apostles being able to go out and do the work of the ministry, impacting thousands of lives.
Not only that, Barnabas was an encourager and a mentor to Paul. It says in Acts 9: 25-26 (AMP, italics mine),
"And when he had arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to associate himself with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe he really was a disciple. However, Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles, and he explained to them how along the way he had seen the Lord, Who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached freely and confidently and courageously in the name of Jesus."
The Greek word for "took" is Epilambanomai and it means: to seize for another purpose. At the Purpose Development Institute, we teach a series on how each of us has been created to walk in a Dual Purpose in the earth: Respect and Responsibility. Barnabas displayed a tremendous amount of respect for the position of the apostles in making decisions about the direction of the church. It was also Barnabas' sense of purpose that showed the apostles that he wasn't afraid of taking responsibility when he presented Paul before the leaders of the church. As a result, the apostles released Paul into his purpose of ministering the gospel to the Gentiles, and he became one of the greatest instruments of Divine Purpose in the New Testament. Barnabas was an agent of change and a great encouragement to Paul, the apostles and the believers in his day.
So what is the point here? Your Purpose Goes Beyond You! Take some time right now to think about some of the gifts God has given you. Pray and ask God to guide you by the Holy Spirit into the use of one of your gifts to be an encouragement to others. Ask also for the humility to be obedient to His guidance. When you realize your purpose is not just for you, but for others around you, your life will find true fulfillment.
Lily L. Jenkins is the Founder and CEO of Lily Jenkins Ministries and Vice President and Co-Founder of the Purpose Development Institute. Her role is to oversee all Certified Coaches to ensure that they are promoting the basic tenants of Purpose Development in their practices and that all satellite institutes are using training materials that include the basic tenants of the Purpose Development message. A woman with many qualifications, Mrs. Jenkins is a Certified Human Behavior Consultant, Christian Life Coach and the first female Certified Purpose Development Coach. She has over 14 years of teaching experience at all levels including the university level as a Professor. Read More Here...