Advent Devotional | December 14, 2020
When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. 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. So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. Acts 9:26-28
“Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.” – Stephen R. Covey
The impact of a good mentor is hard to describe but easy to see. Behind every great leader is an even more incredible mentor. You won’t see a book in the New Testament written by Barnabas, but a man he mentored wrote thirteen of them. Saul went from murdering followers of Jesus to becoming one of the most influential writers and thinkers of the faith. What if Barnabas let Saul’s past get in the way of leading him into the future? And where did the inspiration come from to mentor such a man? Jesus.
One characteristic of Jesus that continually stands out to me is how He invites people to live life not as they currently are but as they could be. Time and time again, Jesus breaks into the lives of others and calls them out. Loving and strong, there is always an invitation to live a different way, God’s way. Advent is a time to celebrate not only when Jesus came into the world but also when He showed up in our lives. For all of us, there is a personal advent of sorts. That moment when you realize who Jesus is and what He’s calling you to is the moment when divine understanding breaks into your life. But not everyone is there yet.
Let Advent be a season of seeing people not as they are but as they could be. What would ___________ (insert a family member or friend’s name) look like if they knew Jesus? And how would you respond to them if they did go from a life void of Jesus to one filled with Him? Be like Barnabas. Invite people to a life in Christ by sharing Jesus with someone this Advent season. Stop seeing people as they currently are and start imagining others what they’d be like if Advent had the same meaning to them as it does to you. Invite others to know Jesus.
Pastor Dave Mergens