"My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life." —John 10:27-28
When we talk to someone or walk into their life, we are talking or walking into the middle of something. God has been at work, and many things have already deeply influenced that person. We need to enter into that conversation and that life so as to fit into God's plan. Thus, Barnabas walked into Antioch and immediately picked up on what the Lord was doing. "On his arrival [Barnabas] rejoiced to see the evidence of God's favor. He encouraged them all to remain firm in their commitment to the Lord, since he himself was a good man filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. Thereby large numbers were added to the Lord" (Acts 11:23-24).
Barnabas' key to success was his relationship with the Lord. When we live by faith the life in the Holy Spirit, we:
- hear God's voice (Jn 10:27),
- consistently are at the right place at the right time,
- treat people gently, thus neither breaking a bruised reed nor quenching a smoldering wick (Is 42:3),
- don't "put our feet into our mouths" so often,
- don't get in God's way,
- don't hurt people by trying to help them,
- don't fall into the trap of becoming co-dependent and enabling others to act irresponsibly, and
- are catalysts effecting the reception to a chain reaction of God's graces.
The Lord alone knows what He is getting us into. He will guide us to be, say, and do our part of His plan for us and others. Listen to Jesus. Live in Jesus. Then truly love others.
Prayer: Father, may I never be used by Satan. May I not recognize Satan's voice (Jn 10:5).
Promise: "No one shall snatch [My sheep] out of My hand." —Jn 10:28
Praise: God, working in the middle of David's life, led David, a practicing Jew, to accept Jesus as Savior in his sixties.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, October 9, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 14, 2003