Barnabas

Daily Devotional

Average reading time is about 3 minutes

Napoleon Bonaparte was in a quandary. The French military and political leader hadn’t anticipated how much it would cost to conquer Europe and, in 1803, he was tight on cash. He planned to invade Britain next and needed a mountain of money. What could he do? Why not sell that bothersome chunk of real estate called Louisiana to the Americans, a piece of land with just a few outposts and a host of angry Native Americans?

President Thomas Jefferson jumped at the chance to nearly double the size of the United States by adding 828,000 square miles of territory, covering the land between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. For just $15 million, the Louisiana Purchase was the greatest real estate bargain in history, costing the government about four cents an acre for some of the most productive grain-producing land in the country.

The early church was in a dilemma. New Christians were being persecuted, ostracized, and many had suffered financial blows. Peter and John had been arrested and were threatened to not speak about Jesus. When the disciples gathered to pray for guidance, the Holy Spirit filled them with boldness, and the church came together in unity.

Christians began to share their earthly goods and many sold their lands and gave all the proceeds to the apostles to use in caring for the growing church. Barnabas, whose name means “son of encouragement,” was a big inspiration to the mission when he sold property and donated the money to help others. A Levite from Cyprus, the new believer eventually became a fellow missionary of Paul.

Just like this son of encouragement, your unselfish giving can help uplift the body of Christ. Your sacrificial gifts, which may include selling off real estate, can hearten the cause of God in places that may be suffering. You too may be a Barnabas.

Heavenly Father, guide me in how I might donate my earthly goods for Your heavenly work.

For Further Study: Acts 4:32–37; 11:19–26; 13:1–15:41; Luke 3:7–14

 

 

Key Bible Texts

“Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church” (Acts 12:1). For Further Study: Acts 12:1–23; Isaiah 14:12–20; Psalm 115:1

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