Do you have a special place where you’d like to be right now—a place you feel passionate about? I love serving others at Upper Peninsula Bible Camp. It’s a beautiful place in the woods of northern Michigan where campers have enjoyed God’s creation and heard the Good News for more than 70 years.
Recently, a family donated a cabin to the camp—allowing for even more people to come and experience God at UPBC. The gift was a selfless act with God’s work clearly in mind.
In Acts, just prior to the infamous account of Ananias and Sapphira, we read of a man who sold a field and gave the money to the apostles (4:37). His nickname, given by the church fathers, was Barnabas—”Son of Encouragement” (v.36). Unlike Ananias and Sapphira, who died as a result of their financial deceit (5:1-11), Barnabas gave all the money he received for his land. He willingly signed over the deed to help meet the needs of other believers. But he went on to do so much more . . .
This Jewish believer showed grace and acceptance to a newly converted Saul of Tarsus (Paul) in Jerusalem (9:27). He then left his home church to strengthen the church in Antioch (11:22).
Do you get the picture? Barnabas gave his land, but then he gave his life away for Jesus—showing grace to others, leaving behind what was familiar to strengthen new believers, and serving with a warm, encouraging heart.
It’s great to bless others by giving cash and gifts for God’s work. But the example of Barnabas shows us there’s so much more to living for Jesus. Go ahead and “sign over that deed,” but don’t forget to live out the deeds God has laid before you—selfless acts that glorify Him and encourage others.
Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father (Matthew 5:16).
Why is it easier to write a check than to show grace, strengthen others, and serve? What “good deeds” has God called you to do this week?