Friday, June 16, 2006

Act 13 and 14 Barnabas the Servant

Today we are going to be looking at the life of Barnabas as someone with a Redemptive Gift of Servant, and he is given the office of Apostle. What is really great about Barnabas is that he get labeled as an Encourager, but he has the characteristics and the Birthright of a Servant.

This reminds us of something extremely important. Every gifting is called to grow in the fruits of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. They are also called to grow in the other gifts. Teachers need to be encouragers and show mercy. Rulers need to give and serve. The point of understanding our particular DNA is to find out where we are extremely Gifted by God for powerful and redemptive purposes in the world.

So I hope this will be helpful on several Levels.
1. I hope some of us will discover we have a servants DNA and start to possess our birthright from God
2. I hope all of us will be inspired to grow in servant hood
3. I hope we can understand and value and honor people who are wired different then us.
Our society does not put a high value on servant hood, and unfortunately the church does not always honor those with the gift of servant. We don’t have allot of Servant hood Conferences.

Behavioral Characteristics:
æ This gift is incredibly significant to God, one that is vital to all the rest of the gifts
æ Sees needs (external, environmental) and quick to meet the needs

Barnabas is the first person mentioned who is makes a sacrifice for the external needs of others. Picture this we are a community of 120 and we are helping each other with everything someone gets sick, we care for them, someone looses their job and we feed them. Now God starts growing our community, 3000 in one day. All of the sudden our we have allot of needs, and treasure is freaking out, about not having enough bread for the homeless. Barnabas sees the physical need, goes and sells a field and gives all the money for the needs of the community.

æ Difficulty saying no. They will be the busiest people in life and in the church, because they don’t want to miss a chance to help.
æ Women Servant often– Finds faults in own service and ability, inability to admit excellence in their works.

- I have a mother-in-law who is a servant, and she will throw out the biggest spreads I have ever seen for a party, a lunch break or a snack. But almost every time she will apologize that it is better or that there is not more. Servants are often afraid of honor and pride.

æ Key way to find a Servant: A purity of motive (honest and trustworthy); they never count up IOU’s to get something out of their leader.

- Every one has been hearing about Saul. The man who was rounding up Christians to kill them. The man who had Stephen Killed. They have heard rumors that he has changed. Barnabas goes to check it out. He reaches out to Saul, and it is Barnabas who brings him before the leaders of the church. Because Barnabas is know for his honesty and trustworthiness.

æ Few enemies, desire to extend honor to others, even make excuses for others
æ They see the best in other people
- We see the difference in Paul and Barnabas personality on this point. Mark went on the first missionary journey with them. This was new ground for everybody on the team. They come against allot of opposition, and really Mark is just a young man, but he abandons the mission and head back to the Home Church. When Paul and Barnabas are preparing for their second missionary journey after spending some time sharing with everyone in Jerusalem. Barnabas wants to give Mark another chance. He sees the best in Mark and is not worried about what he has done. Paul doesn’t feel like being abandoned again and tells Barnabas if he wants to take Mark he is on his own.

æ The (immature) Servants: Spoil their children and make excuses for
æ Fierce anger generally comes out when there is harm to friends and family (very loyal) – profound connection to family
æ Inherently obedient (Comes easy to them)

Joseph Father of Jesus (obedience as a servant lent him to be the protector of Jesus), he goes when God tells him to.

æ Like to save stuff, not particularly organized
æ Servants work very hard, downfall: unless they understand how to serve, they become enablers – a wise servant will learn how to empower, not enable
æ Seem to attract dishonor from others in the home (willingly allow this dishonor)
æ Tends to have a victim spirit (exploited by others)
æ In games and athletics they are very competitive; desire to win; ironic when they are seen most of the time supporting others

Understanding a Servants Contribution from the Outside
æ The Servant prefers not to be seen, embarrassed by the spotlight, the Servant is vital to the life of the Body
æ the Servant seems to be able to walk through more filth without being personally defiled, Servant is specifically involved in cleansing.
æ Relatively free from the desire to have their own turf, focus on meeting needs
- Barnabas was a big name in the early church, big giver, big encourager. When they first go out on the missionary trip it is Barnabas and then Saul, but by the end of the trip Barnabas has moved into his spot of Supporting leadership and meeting needs. He doesn’t need to be on Billboard and every other time they are mentioned it is Paul and Barnabas and then Paul and all these companion.

The Authority God gives
æ God gives more spiritual authority given to Servants than other gifts because they don’t want it, they are not infected with the empire-building germ like the other gifts
æ The Servant’s prayers for leaders carry more weight than other gifts, because of their purity of motive (not controlling).
æ Authority over land (restoration of ecology). They simply see physical needs better then other people

The Battlefield: Authority
æ Dignity versus Shame (are you your past or are you someone in whom God has invested). Servants are extremely hard on themselves.
æ Dominion versus Victimization (so many Servants buy into the victimization people put on them, cannot allow what others say define who they are – need to walk in the dominion God has given)
æ Spirit of illegitimacy – believing that they are not the best for the job, Servants are masters of passing their authority to someone else

æ Tenacity to reach out to the wounded and hurting (not limited to, but especially in family situations)
- This is the birth right of the servant, but where I get really inspired by servants.
The Servant was created by God to be able to Go into the ugliest situations, and show people the love of Christ, and they have the ability to hold on the longest. This has been called porcupine hugging.

- I would like to use my mother-in-law as an example again. Gabi’s family are farmers and storage unit owners, and her Mom can find plenty to do Managing the books for the farm, and running the storage unit office. But because of who she has been created to be there are not enough needs. So she works at a quilt store where the owners are open homosexuals, she built a relationship with another employee their who is a single Mom, who can’t keep her life together. Every time she has to go to court Lori is sitting their with her. She can walk in the hardest places with tenacity to bring them the love of Christ, but without condemnation.

Barnabas is a great example of a man who possessed his birth right. If it was not for his tenacity to walk into hard places and love wounded and hurting people we might not have many of the books. in our NT. It was Barnabas who went reach out to Saul in Tarsus and brought him to Jerusalem. It was Barnabas who gave Mark another chance to serve God and he later became a gospel writer and friend of Paul.

Next Face to Face Discussion June 29th at the IKEBOX (8:00pm)


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