by Gary Wilkerson

I have a lot of respect for Barnabas, a gentle, loving man whose name meant
encouragement. Barnabas had been traveling with Paul evangelizing and planting
churches, but a conflict arose. We read in Acts 15:36-41 that Paul and Barnabas
stopped working together over a young man named John Mark.

Paul felt that John Mark had hurt their ministry by unexpectedly departing and
leaving them short-handed. Barnabas wanted to be kind to John Mark and give him
another chance, but Paul said no.

Barnabas was a man of a different spirit. When the whole world was willing to
reject somebody who seemed like a failure, he did not react in that way.
Barnabas stood up to Paul and said, “I’m not going to reject that young
man.” That is boldness — that’s a different spirit!

When Saul was pouring out accusations against the church, imprisoning
Christ’s followers and putting them to death, who went to him? And when Saul
had an experience from heaven (Acts 9), who went to him? It was Barnabas, the
Son of Encouragement. Barnabas had the boldness in his heart and the different
spirit inside him to say, “I don’t care if this is a false rumor, it is
worth the risk to see if Saul really got saved.”

Barnabas is an example of a man of a different spirit. This spirit has nothing
to do with whether you are a Type A personality. You can be a quiet person,
mellow and calm, and still have what Barnabas had. And most of  all, you can
have what Jesus had.

It does not matter if you are young or old, male or female, for God is no
respecter of persons. The Holy Spirit is longing to fall upon you. You may be
reading this today and inside you are saying, “What are you talking about,
having a different spirit? My spirit is a spirit of alcohol or drugs; my spirit
is a spirit of desperation. I’m lost!”

You know what? God has His eyes on you. God has ordained that you read this
because He is calling on you to rise up and be a person of a different spirit.
Not the spirit of this world, not the spirit of sin, not the spirit of
alcoholism or drugs, but the spirit of God. The spirit of Christ, the Son of
God, can transform your life and make you into a person of a different spirit.

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