READ ACTS 9:26–31
After a miraculous conversion to the gospel, Paul, then called Saul, switched from persecuting Christians to preaching. Later, he headed to Jerusalem where he tried to join the disciples there, but they were understandably leery of him. How could they trust this man who, previously, was hunting and persecuting Christians? They were afraid of him.
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 (Acts 9:27).
Barnabas, whose name means “encourager,” saw the best in Paul and refused to hold Paul’s past against him. He forgave Paul and encouraged the others to do so too. The apostles chose to forgive Paul and welcomed him into their fellowship as a true brother. As a result, he won many to salvation in that city. It is important to follow the example of the Early Church, encouraging one another to walk in true forgiveness, so that the gospel of Christ will go forward unhindered.
Prayer Suggestion: Father, reveal any unforgiveness in my heart and give me the grace to forgive.
Quicklook: Acts 9:26–28