“Some men who seemed impossibly weak at the beginning of SEAL training – men who puked on runs and trouble with pull-ups – made it. … Some men who were visibly afraid, sometimes to the point of shaking, made it too.
All the men who survived possessed one common quality. Even with great pain faced with the test of their lives, they … put aside their own fear and ask: How can I help the guy next to me? … They … had a heart large enough to think about others, to dedicate themselves to a higher purpose.”
Lt. Cmdr. Eric Greitens, The SEAL Sensibility, WSJ, May 7, 2011
This essay stirred those boyhood memories in me of wanting to be like my Biblical hero David. At his best David had heart large enough to think about God and others. When he did his exploits brought deliverance, freedom and safety to his family, friends and countrymen.
My parents would read these stories to me in the Macon Hospital and faith absolutely began to take root in my heart. I knew God wanted me to be strong!
Biblical heroes aren’t always warriors like David, they are also kind, generous, and thoughtful men like Barnabas. He is not mentioned a lot but when he shows up, he is always principled, strong and fruitful.
“Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And many people were brought to the Lord.” (Acts 11:24, NLT)
How do you explain that kind of strength? How do you become strong like that? How do you become a Contagious Christian like Barnabas was? I think the next two verses gives us some insight.
“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” (Ephesians 3:17, NLT)
Barnabas had a great love for Christ and people. He had a love for people that failed and succeeded. He was as one of our students preached recently, ‘Compelled by Love.’
When we ask Christ to live within us and we begin the journey of faith (trust) our roots (foundation) grows deeper into God’s love and keeps us strong and fruitful. God’s love gives us a heart dedicated to a higher purpose. Our purpose becomes single minded to glorify him all that we do!
Tonight, I’m praying for you, like Epaphras did for the Colossians.Wrapping up tonight (1) Know and Do the Will of God, (2) Do Good, (3) Be strong. Tomorrow – Be Consumed!
Peace and Joy