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Meant to Be

Daily Devotional • June 11

A Reading from Acts 4:32-37

32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.33 With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. 35 They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 There was a Levite from Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). 37 He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.


Verses 36-37 from Acts 4 are the first mention of Barnabas in the Bible. There was a lad with an old Hebrew name who got a slang nickname from the apostles. He was from the house of Levi, the priestly tribe — those whom God forbade from owning property — and he sold some property and gave the money to his spiritual mentors. 

The Levite land owner (who either didn’t know Deuteronomy, interpreted it “metaphorically,” or didn’t care) became more of a Levite by following Jesus. The Lord became his inheritance. 

The Presbyterians are right about man’s chief end: to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Worshiping — being transformed by the renewing of our minds — does not make us less human but more; it doesn’t efface us of our identity but gives us one worth having; it takes our heart of stone and makes it a heart of flesh. 

We’re not told that Barnabas was an encourager; we’re told rather what he was called. We aren’t told that he was living like a Levite, but that he was one. Jesus makes us who are meant to be simply by his own, gracious, effectual calling.

Chase Benefiel is a friend, Tennesseean, preacher, and student (in that order) currently finishing his M.Div. at Duke Divinity School.

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Today we pray for:

The Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida
All Souls’ Church, Oklahoma City


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