Youth News - February 2010
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Youth News - February 2010

There are three men in the Bible who can serve as great models for all of us of the kind of Christians we need to be for one another in the Body of Christ – Paul, Barnabas, and Timothy. Everybody needs a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy in their life – and hopefully we are a Paul, or a Barnabas, or a Timothy in the life of someone else!

Let's talk about Paul. He served as spiritual leader to so many believers and as a personal mentor to at least a handful. His desire was to follow God's call on his life and leave a legacy behind for the next generation of the church. Acts 20 shows his heart for a next generation of church leaders:

"I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears."- Acts 20.26-31.

We all need someone whom we can go to and seek spiritual direction, guidance, teaching, and challenge. We need people who know us personally and who will proclaim God's will and watch out for us as we grow and mature in God's grace.

How about Barnabas? His name was Joseph, but the Apostles gave him the nickname 'Barnabas,' which means 'Son of Encouragement.' He was an encourager!

The first time Paul came to the church in Jerusalem as a Christian, the believers there didn't trust him because of his former life of persecuting the Christians. "But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles," the book of Acts tells us; "He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus (Acts 9.27)."

While we don't know a lot about Barnabas, it seems as though he looked out for and partnered with Paul during his earlier years of ministry. As the book of Acts tells us more of Paul's work in the Lord, we eventually cease hearing about Barnabas. I like to imagine Barnabas as one of Paul's peers who was willing to be there when Paul needed him the most, and was willing to see Paul live up to the full potential that God had for him – even if it meant letting his friend move on to greater things.

We all need to be those kinds of friends to our peers – people who are willing to dream God's dreams for our friends, even if it means letting them move on to greater things.

Timothy was one of Paul's disciples. He was a young man that Paul took under his wing and poured his life into. Paul calls Timothy his "true son in the faith" (1 Timothy 1.2), and we also read that Timothy knew all about Paul's teaching, way of life, his purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, and sufferings (see 2 Timothy 3.10-11).

Timothy was a person who looked to Paul for spiritual leadership and eventually became a leader in the Church himself! May we be willing to live lives of faith and integrity before the Lord that reaches into the life of someone else!

Do you have a Paul in your life? That person who you personally turn to for spiritual wisdom, guidance, and challenge?

Do you have a Barnabas in your life? A friend whom you are willing to walk alongside with and encourage so that he or she can be everything that God wants them to be?

Do you have a Timothy in your life? A younger Christian whom you are teaching and encouraging as you invite that person into your life and heart for the Lord?

May you seek to have relationships that build up the Body of Christ and that build you up in your faith as well!

Grace & Peace from Him to you, Matt

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