Wednesday, August 3 – Acts 9:27
But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus at Damascus.
In our culture, we use the phrase, “I’ll vouch for them!” to communicate our trust in someone so others will trust them too. The word vouch can mean “to give personal assurance.” When we give this personal assurance on behalf of someone else, we are putting our own reputation on the line. We do this, trusting that the outcome will reveal they are who we know them to be, even if others initially doubt it.
When the disciples repeatedly rejected Saul out of fear, Barnabas stepped forward and vouched for him. By doing this he risked rejection as well, but Barnabas walked in love even when it was costly. It is easy to love people when they are likable and carry a good reputation, but it is more difficult to come alongside the new follower of Jesus. Bringing them to Bible study or into your home is a risk more costly than attending the same small group and inviting your close friends over. There is value to the deep relationships God allows us to build and having a sense of discernment when we are getting to know someone. Those things are not excuses to stop including someone but tools to use as you get to know them. If we are partnered in Christ, the road to a deep, thriving community may be rocky, but it will be well worth it.
- Is it easy for you to get to know new people in our church? Why or why not?
- Who can you invite into our community of faith?
- Pray and ask God to show you the next step of meeting or bringing someone new into our church.
 Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, s.v. “vouch,” accessed July 1, 2022, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vouch.