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Interrupt! Standing in the Gap  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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David may have felt overlooked, left out, and often got the raw end of the deal; but God saw potential. God sees things we do not see. God looks at the heart.

Murphy’s Law

If anything can go wrong, it will.
What are some examples that some may think prove Murphy’s Law to be true?
Check out line Recipe Ingredient Tool thats dropped
Do you know people who live by Murphy’s Law? They can find something wrong with a bowl of ice cream; and they drag others down.
We Christians are different. We have the honor to stand in the gap to be a source of light, life, and hope for those around us.
We Christians are different. We have the honor to stand in the gap to be a source of light, life, and hope for those around us.
Some naturally see the glass half full - looking for the good in people and situations.
But many see the glass half empty - seeing only the negative and overlooking the possibilities.
Does anyone in the room ever need to be encouraged? God knows we need to be reminded to look for the good. We need encouragement!
Encourage means to put courage into someone who is weak and vulnerable.
Greek word is paraklesis - to come alongside.
Jesus used this word when He promised “another Counselor”. The Holy Spirit comes alongside to comfort, counsel, and guide us. As we are encouraged we can then encourage others.
Scripture is full of instructions to encourage others
1 Thessalonians
1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV
11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Hebrews 1
Hebrews 10:24–25 ESV
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
We all need to hang around others who encourage us. Even the strongest gap people need encouragement.
Nehemiah - the king Esther - Mordecai Noah - sons
Esther - Mordecai
- sons
David - Samuel
Paul found himself in a gap - a place of vulnerability, weakness, and danger. He needed someone to stand in the gap for him.


Jesus had been crucified, resurrected 3 days later, walked and talked with His disciples for 40 days and then ascended.
Day of Pentecost
Religious leaders
However, after the Day of Pentecost the world was turned upside down by the 12 disciples. The following grew!
The religious leaders tried to silence the apostles and followers with prison, beatings, etc., finally with martyrdom when they killed Stephen.
Paul - staunch Pharisee, was there giving his approval. He was so full of anger,he made threats to Christians, asked those in authority over him for papers to arrest them. He went to went to Damascus to fulfill his mission. BUT he encountered Jesus on the way!
Paul went to arrest Christians, but he encountered Jesus on the way.
After this event, blind Paul went to Damascus where he stayed in the home of a man named Judas.
Acts 9:13
God had prepared Ananias to minister to Paul. Ananias’ response:
Acts 9:13–14 ESV
13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”
After meeting with Ananias, Paul stayed in Damascus with the believers and immediately began preaching about Jesus saying
Acts 9:20 ESV
20 And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”
Acts 9:
How would you have felt as a Jewish leader or Christian at the news Paul had been converted? How would you respond
The Jews became so upset - feeling Paul had betrayed them - they plotted to kill him. Things were so bad the believers had to lower him in a basket from the wall.
The Christians were afraid of him and did not trust him.
When Paul returned to Jerusalem he was a man without friends, country, and home.
He tried to meet with the leaders in Jerusalem but they were afraid of him.
But then Barnabas stepped up.
Acts 9:26–27 ESV
26 And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus.
Acts 9:
How did Barnabas stand in the gap for Paul?

Barnabas Encouraged.

Acts 4:36–37 ESV
36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
His name was actually Joseph. He was such an encourager to those around him he was literally nicknamed Son of Encourgement.
Keeping in mind the bar means son - what would your nickname be if given by those who are around you, and it is based on your character?
Bar-complainer? Bar controller? Bar Joy? Bar love?
We see that Barnabas gave generously. And it was no different when Paul was in need.
Barnabas acknowledged his potential instead of considering him a threat.

Barnabas was Spirit Led With Intentionality

Barnabas was sent by the Christian leaders to minister in Antioch. After fulfilling his duty, he went to find Paul who had gone to Tarsus alone.
Acts 11:25–26 ESV
So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.
Acts 11:
What are some costs we might incur when we pour ourselves into the lives of others?
Standing in the gap often requires going the extra mile.
Standing in the gap requires spending time with people.
Standing in the gap as an encourager often involves sacrifice.
So for a year, those two unlikely partners - the generous encourager and the converted oppressor - oversaw the church, taught the Word, and led even more people to Jesus.
Why is it important to avoid being naive and foolish when we relate to people whose lives are a wreck?
How can we become more perceptive, more hopeful, and more courageous?
Barnabas was not about Position, he was about honoring God
Paul’s preaching and leadership giftings became evident to all. He became the leader in the partnership.
When the roles shifted, Barnabas wasn’t jealous.
He gladly yielded the platform to Paul.
Barnabas was generous with his money, with his time, and with the mission God had given them.
Has God put anyone on your heart as you’ve read this chapter? What’s your next step?
What is God saying to you through the story of Barnabas?
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