Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”) sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
How can we be like Barnabas?
The most powerful earthly influence on a human being is another human being.
Matthew 28:19-20 reminds us that we are all called to be encouragers of God’s Word: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
In what ways can we “teach” or influence others to be followers of Christ? We learn that Barnabas not only spoke of God’s Word, but he also put words into action. Barnabas showed his love for God by selling his land and giving the money to the church. 2 Corinthians 9:7 asks us to give what we have decided in our hearts to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (a Pastor friend used to add: “but He’ll take the money from a grouch”).
God desires for us to share His love with others by being a “giver.” God showed His love for us by sending His Son Jesus who gave His life for us. There is nothing we can give that is greater than this. God wants us to know that giving is not a competition. Through His action and love he encourages us to also give, but He does not want us to feel pressured. He wants us to feel free to give and feel good about giving!
Lord, We thank You for Your generous gift. We know we can never outgive You. We are grateful that giving is not a competition and that we have the choice to give or not to give. We also have the choice of how much or how little to give. Fill our hearts with generosity and a willingness to give freely. We trust in You! Amen