Tag Archives: Saul


William Andrew Dillard

“Barnabas” is a Greek word, but it is spelled the same in Greek and in English. The name means “Son of rest, or consolation” according to Greek lexicons. Biblically, it is the name of a Levite, native of Cyprus, who was a distinguished Christian teacher, missionary companion, and colleague of the apostle Paul.
Since his name appears in the New Testament some twenty-nine times, the question naturally arises, “What did Barnabas do that was so right?” Think with me!
Barnabas contributed heavily to the need of the saints in Jerusalem immediately following Pentecost, Acts 4:36-37. This is the first mention of his name, but far from the last.
Barnabas was first to receive Saul as a changed man after the Damascus Road experience. He brought him to the apostles, being quick to recognize the work of God in the life of another. Acts 9:26-28.
Barnabas answered the call to help the newly formed church at Antioch. He realized the enormity of the task and immediately went to Tarsus to enlist the help of Saul. He and Saul taught much in the church at Antioch for an entire year. Then he, with Saul, carried relief for the suffering saints in Jerusalem. Afterward, he answered with Saul, the call to carry the gospel to regions beyond.
Barnabas preached the Word in Cyprus, and Galatia. He suffered persecution with Saul in Derbe and Lystra.
In spite of considerable dissention between himself and Saul, who had now come to be known as Paul, over the weakness and failure of John Mark, he teamed up with Mark and went on preaching the gospel in regions beyond, not letting a strong difference of opinion become a stumbling block to his God-called ministry.
Barnabas is last mentioned in Colossians 4:10 as a relative to Mark who though once rejected by Paul was encouraged to be received and used of the saints.
In short, Barnabas lived an admirable life of dedicated service to God, and to his fellow men. And that is so right!
As it was with him, so it is with many modern day disciples. The obstacles, the persecution, and the fleshly desire for one’s own comfort zone will be there, and exert themselves more than once. But the gospel burns a fire in the bones, and the grace of God that is sufficient for every man comes to the forefront. We love God because He first loved us. He took our place on the cross, and opened wide heaven’s gates for us. We must tell it, and that is so right!

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FEBRUARY 28 – Close is not Good Enough

FEBRUARY 28 – Close is not Good Enough

1Samuel 15:3  Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. 

How close do you follow instructions? My dad had a saying that he used often. “Go back and lick your calf over.” I don’t know where that saying came from but my mind tells me it is probably a reference to a calf that has been birthed. Dad used this expression when he felt that one of us kids had not done the best job on something we were told to do. I hated that I had to “lick my calf over.” It meant doing something I would prefer not to be doing, to begin with.

That was the problem with Saul. He explicit instructions as to what He should do. Whatever the reason, he did not follow instruction. He came back to Samuel and lied to Samuel. The reply of Samuel, “What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear.” Notice: Close is not good enough. God lays out His instructions for us. Saul did not get an opportunity to “lick his calf over.” Did you see that? He did not get another chance.

Let us pay attention to what God has to say. Let us follow every instruction He gives us. People go astray when they look for a more convenient way. Jesus says bury them under the water and convenience says sprinkling is good enough. The Bible says that salvation is “by grace through faith,” a man says good works will get you there. May pursue the study of God’s Word so we get it right the first time.

Follow the instructions.

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Meet Mephibosheth

2 Samuel 4:4
“So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king’s table; and was lame on both his feet,” 2 Samuel 9:13.
When news of Saul’s and Jonathan’s deaths reached the remaining family members, panic struck. Members of the family began fleeing, not knowing their outcome once David began reigning. Mephibosheth—Jonathan’s 5-year-old son—was under the care of a nurse when she received word of his family’s demise. Stricken with fear, she fled with him, and in the process of fleeing, fell with him so that he became permanently lame.
Later, as David was enjoying the peace that God brought him because of his faithfulness, he remembered the covenant friendship he held with Jonathan. When he and Jonathan struck up their friendship, he promised he would not destroy Jonathan’s descendants, so David sought to honor that promise. As he looked for members of Saul’s household, it was brought to his attention that Jonathan still had a living son, Mephibosheth. How did David treat the descendant of his former enemy? He showed him mercy and honor, treating him like royalty.
It is the height of Christlikeness to show unconditional love and honor to those who, by the world’s definition, are the least deserving of that treatment. While we were rejecting God as sinners, God demonstrated His love for us by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us. It is that kind of self-sacrificing love that brings God honor. How can we show the same selfless love to others today?
Will you serve others today?
Mark ClementsATT00009


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