We all need someone to believe in us. Barnabas was a man of God. He was not an apostle, but he was actively involved in the Early Church. He went on a mission trip to Antioch and saw the amazing things God was doing there. He told many people about Jesus, and then connected Saul of Tarsus. Barnabas invited Saul to join in God’s work of loving others and growing God’s Church. God used Barnabas, Saul, and the Church to impact the world for Christ. And, God wants to use each of us today. Will you invest your life into someone else for the glory of God?
Life On Purpose: Brotherhood / Evangelism
Why is how we live our lives important?
“Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.” This quote, attributed to the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, is oftentimes shared by evangelists, pastors, or Christ-followers to make a point about Christians living their lives in such a way that outsiders looking in can see that they follow Jesus and make life choices based on their decision to be obedient to what the Bible teaches.
If we believe what the Bible says, then what we are saying we believe is that if a person does not believe in God and profess their faith in Him, then they won’t spend eternity in heaven with Him. Think about that for a second. Think about the weight of that sad, stark reality. Now think about the way you live your life. The choices you make hold the potential to show non-Christians who this Jesus whom you follow is. The way you live your life could show others what it is that you believe and, quite possibly, cause them to question what they believe and why.
As Christ-followers, we have a responsibility – both to God and to others. First, when we profess our faith, we are saying that we stand by the teachings of Jesus, we trust in His Word, and we are going to live our lives in such a way that our faith is reflected. 1 John 2:3 says, “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.” Our knowledge of Christ is directly correlated with our keeping of his commands and our diligence to be obedient to Him.
Secondly, we have a responsibility to others. To be called a Christ-follower is to be called a “little Christ.” What that implies is that a Christian is living as Jesus did, and Jesus’ parting words with His followers was for us to go and make disciples. He sent His followers out to tell others about who He is and invite them to follow Him, too.
What the Bible Says about Brotherhood & Evangelism
In Matthew 9, Jesus says to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Each place that we go, there is a “harvest field.” There are non-Christians in every area of life, and it’s in those very places where God has called us to go. He calls us to walk out into the world, even the darkest, most uncertain places, in faith and in obedience to His command to share our faith with the world.
We are the laborers who are commissioned with going out and making disciples of all nations. It’s about making a choice to invest in the lives of others, even though it may be difficult or uncomfortable at times. It starts with the Church standing together, as the Church in Acts did, saying, “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).
One of the special parts about being a part of the Church is that we are never walking alone. The Church is called the “body of Christ” (Romans 12:4-5) for a reason; like a human body, we all play a role in sharing Christ and working together for the sake of the Gospel. Also like a body, we each have different jobs and responsibilities that work together with other “parts” or people to accomplish our goals and our purposes. This is the value of having brothers and sisters in Christ, and it’s why we can have confidence in our God-given tasks and abilities.
How will you respond to this responsibility?
When you choose to follow Christ, the responsibility to share Him with others becomes yours. Though the thought of this may be overwhelming, it also should come as an honor that God would allow us to be stewards of this gift of salvation that we get to share with others. And, like the quote from St. Francis of Assisi says, our sharing of the Gospel is just as much in our deeds and actions as it is in our words. When we choose to live our lives in a way that causes others to see the light of Christ in us, we are putting the Good News on display and are, therefore, being obedient to Jesus’ call to make disciples.
This challenge may be a responsibility, yes, but it also is a means of using our life to make a lasting, eternal impact on the world and those around us. Choosing to follow Christ is more than gaining a new title of “Christian.” It’s gaining a responsibility to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus (Matthew 16:24). The question is, will you choose to respond to this call?