Barnabas responded in this way because he was a good man, whom the Holy Spirit had endowed with exceptional faith. A considerable number of people were added to the Lord.
For most of my life, my troubled father was not a Christian. This concerned my mother. She implored the deacons of her denomination to regularly visit my dad. They did.
Most of their conversations centered on Daddy’s need for God. At some point, they would always ask if he was ready to make a profession of faith so that his salvation could be assured. My father always refused.
The bishop appointed a new United Methodist minister to my home church. He was surprised to learn that my parents didn’t worship in the UMC. I told him that my father didn’t worship anywhere. This new pastor decided to visit my dad.
Afterwards, Daddy called me and asked, “What’s wrong with this new Methodist preacher?”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well, he came to see me and didn’t mention God the entire time.”
“What did he talk about?” I asked.
“Well, he talked about hunting and sports,” Daddy recalled.
“Oh,” I said, “so he talked about things that you like to talk about?”
“Yes, I guess he did.”
That UM pastor continued to faithfully visit my dad. At some point they must have talked about God because I received a phone call. It was the UM pastor asking me if I could be in my home church that Sunday. “Your dad wants to be baptized, and I’d like for you to do it.”
My dad became a faithful follower of Jesus Christ because an excellent pastor offered Christ to a hurting world.
Merciful Father, thank you that you desire that all come to know you as Lord. Teach us to love as Christ loved, in whose name we pray. AMEN.
The Rev. Tommy Ward
Director of Office of Ministerial Concerns, Tennessee Conference