«When Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles (Acts 9:26, 27).
Today we will see the importance of second chances. People who give this kind of opportunities are characterized by values such as support, tolerance, and optimism.
In the Bible we find the little-known story of Barnabas. The story is really not unknown, but this character played a very secondary role, even though he was God’s instrument at several crucial moments.
After Saul’s conversion, the Jews did not want to hear anything about him and planned to make him disappear. Everyone was afraid of him and doubted his intentions. However, Barnabas took Paul with him, and then things changed. This gave Paul more confidence and credibility.
Perhaps you know someone who has a powerful testimony to tell but, out of prejudice, is not being well received in your church. You can be that agent who introduces and accompanies him or her in this new period of life. You can be an instrument in God’s hands.
We also find the story of a discouraged Scottish pastor who had failed to get his church on fire for the gospel. His sermons seemed to have no effect, and several leaders were judging him harshly. However, a child went up to him and offered to work for God. He told him that he wanted to be a preacher when he grew up, and this pastor regained strength, prepared him for the ministry, and saw him become a powerful orator who later served as a missionary in South Africa for several years and was the first translator of the Bible into Setswana. Moreover, so inspiring was his testimony that his son in-law, David Livingstone, picked up the torch of the gospel and took it as a missionary to several other African countries at a time of serious illnesses and slavery.
Robert Moffat spoke with such fervor that he convinced this prepared man to conquer hearts for the kingdom of heaven in places where God had never been spoken of.
Perhaps today you too can spread your fervor to others who will make decisions of great importance still unknown to you, an importance that is only in the divine mind.
Do not underestimate your influence, the opportunity you can offer others, and the certainty that you can be an instrument in God’s hands.