Paul, Barnabas & Timothy

Maybe you’re wondering what these three names have in common, or how I’m going to write one post that deals with these very different men.  Well, here goes.  I once read that every Christian needs three kinds of people to help them mature in their faith.  They need a Paul,  a Barnabas and a Timothy.

Your Paul is a person who mentors you;  someone who is older, or who has been a Christian longer and can guide you in making wise decisions.  For many years my Paul was my Pastor.  We met regularly and talked about what I was studying, my prayer life and ways I could serve.  He always encouraged me to stretch a little and gave me suggestions.

“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”  1 Corinthians 11:1

Your Barnabas is a spiritual friend and equal;  a person who walks by your side.  I’ve blogged about my friend, Nancy.  She has filled this role for me for many years now.  My reunion group sisters fall into this category as well.  These are the people who listen to me, pray for me, and support me.

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”  Proverbs 27:17

A Timothy is somebody you can teach.  I hope that my daughters and my granddaughter feel they have learned something about being a Christian from my example, imperfect as it is.  I actually think of myself as a rather “teachy” person, and I love nothing more than passing on whatever knowledge and understanding I have to others.  I see the Lutheran Ladies Connection as just one opportunity to do this.

“Only take heed, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life;  make them known to your children and your children’s children …” Deuteronomy 4:9-10

How about you?  Do you have at least one Paul, Barnabas and Timothy?

Evangelistic Acts

“..the word of God continued to increase and spread.”  Acts 12:24

If you’re looking for a primer on evangelism, turn to the book of Acts.  If there is one overarching theme of Acts, it is the verse above –the spread of Christianity.  Acts is also a book about people, individuals, who through their words and deeds made an impact for Christ.  I’m going to list a few of them here.

  • Philip:  one of the first to preach the gospel outside of Jerusalem (Acts 8:4-40)
  • Peter:  led by God to Cornelius, one of the first Gentiles to become a Christian(Acts 9:32-10:48)
  • Barnabas:  went to Antioch as an encourager; traveled on to Troas (Acts 11:25-30)
  • Apollos:  left Alexandria for Ephesus, preached in Athens and Corinth(Acts 18:24-28)
  • Priscilla & Aquila:  taught the complete gospel story to Apollos (same reference as above)
  • Paul:  went on missionary journeys along with Barnabas and John Mark (Acts 13: 1-14); Silas, Timothy and Luke (Acts 15:36-18:22); Erastus (Acts 18:23 and 19:1-21:4)

In all, Acts mentions over one hundred people who contributed to the growth of the church.  It’s inspiring and exciting reading!