Practical Goodness


READ: Acts 11:22-25

GOING: Many things are said about Barnabas in these verses and they are all attributed to his goodness (v24). Obviously Barnabas was chosen because of his goodness and it was because of his goodness that he responded. Without even seeing the work in Antioch news of it touched his heart (v22). Let's pray that we will always live our lives in a way that advertises our ability and willingness to meet needs. Let's pray too that we will have a quick response time. Barnabas went "as far as Antioch" - let's pray that we will go as far as it takes!

RECOGNISING GRACE: There are so many things that contribute to initial impressions. It is commendable that Barnabas immediately saw the grace of God in the believers at Antioch (v23). What we see depends a lot on what we are looking for. Let's determine that we will always be on the lookout for signs of God's grace. If spotting the negative is our usual initial reaction,  let's be open with others for a breakthrough.

BEING JOYFUL: It is always great to be thrilled by the progress of others. Barnabas "was glad" (v23) and we should have an equally appreciative spirit too. Let's pray that jealousy will never spring up in our lives.

ENCOURAGING OTHERS: It was being an encouragement that earned Barnabas his name (Acts 4:36). Some of us are occasional encouragers; others make encouraging a lifestyle (v23). Let's take a little time to pray, making sure that we minister an abundance of encouragement to those we pray for.

FULL OF THE SPIRIT AND FAITH: Goodness alone is not enough. Real goodness goes hand-in-hand with faith and being filled with God's Spirit (v24). Let's pray for a constant infilling of the Holy Spirit and for growth in faith in our lives.

EFFECTIVE IN EVANGELISM: Being a good person is not normally highlighted as an important part of evangelism but good lives speak. "And a great many people were added to the Lord" (v24). Let's pray on what Jesus said about letting our "light so shine before men that they may see (our) good works and glorify our Father in heaven" (Matt 5:16). Let's pray particularly that many people known to us will end up truly glorifying God.

PRIORITISING OTHERS: It is amazing that Barnabas was prepared to leave Antioch in the middle of a successful campaign and go off and search the region for Paul (v24). This is a good example of putting others first, way above even our own reputation in the ministry. Let's take some time to think about fellow believers we really want to encourage. After thinking about them, let's pray for them.