Friend or foe?

They have in warplanes a system called I.F.F., which means Identification friend, or Foe. It is so they do not attack friendly aircraft.


A slightly humorous story is told in Acts 9:26_30
The picture is of the apostle Paul, after his’ conversion and preaching the gospel boldly, coming to Jerusalem. He attempts to contact the Apostles but they are afraid of him and won’t come near him. The Apostles especially Peter and John, who a little before face down the high priest and Sanhedrin are terrified of the reformed persecutor.Their worst enemy is actually their best friend.
Barnabas finds Paul and brings him to the Apostles and they extend the right hand of friendship.

It seems to me this happens often today. We have a hard time identifying friend from foe.

Many of the Christian’s foes wear the guise of sheep and talk the talk. Upon close examination they show that they are frauds and charlatans even deluding themselves.
Sometimes people we think and treat, as our foes may be friendlier than we know. Misunderstandings and misjudgements are common to us all.
We must all be wise as serpents and gentle as doves in all our relationships especially Christian ones.

Barnabas

This remarkable man is what I would call a catalyst.His’ actions cause a reaction.  We first hear of him in Acts chapter 4. A Levite from Cyprus, he sells a field and gives the proceeds to the Apostles to use at there discretion.

Unfortunately His’ show of generosity seems to prompt an act of similar generosity but actually a shabby con. Next we have the story above related, showing the open and generous nature.

Barnabas is sent to Antioch to see what is going on. He encourages the believer’s there and seeks for Paul and with his’ help works in this city.

Paul and Barnabas join in missionary work even to be treated as gods by the people of Lystra. They are part over Paul’s unwillingness to take John Mark with them after formerly deserting them. Barnabas in typical styles gives a second chance.

Later Paul is reconciled to Mark and we see them together in Rome, while Paul is imprisoned.

Many of us would like to be the Apostle Paul. How we need people like Barnabas as well, which we remember is a nickname given to him by the apostles. It means “Son of prophecy” especially shown by exhortation and comfort.

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Friend or foe?

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