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Daily Devotional | Unlikely Leaders - a stack of sharp 31 pencils with one blue lead sticking above the rest on a blue background. Daily Devotional | Unlikely Leaders - a stack of sharp 31 pencils with one blue lead sticking above the rest on a blue background.

Daily Devotional | Leaders Open Doors


Jesus charged the disciples with making disciples throughout Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Still, they never imagined that would include reaching out to the Pharisees and religious elites. So, when word spread that Saul, a Pharisee trained under Gamaliel (Acts 22:3) and persecutor of Christians, had an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, it would certainly have been hard for them to believe it.

After three years of learning about the teachings of Christ and how He fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies (Gal. 1:18), Saul ventured to Jerusalem to meet with Peter and James, the Lord’s brother. However, upon arrival, the disciples did not welcome him. He tried to join the disciples, but they were skeptical and feared he would arrest them (v. 26). They were at an impasse, and no side was making any progress. Then an unlikely leader named Barnabas stepped in.

Barnabas took the initiative to set up a meeting between Saul and the other disciples. He interceded for Saul, testified regarding what happened to him on the road to Damascus, and how Saul “preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus” (v. 27). Barnabas opened a door for Saul that changed his life as well as countless others.

It is hard to imagine what Christianity would have looked like without the Apostle Paul. His letters shaped Western Civilization. His missionary journeys and his legacy of ministry laid the foundation for Christianity to spread worldwide. Possibly no one would have heard about Saul’s conversion or been impacted by his ministry if Barnabas had not interceded. This small act of opening a door for Saul led to the spread of Christianity as we know it today.

>> Godly leaders use their position and power to pave the way for others. What doors can you open for others today? How can you help someone take the next step? One small act just may be the linchpin to unlock someone’s potential.

Pray with Us

We do not live or work for our own glory, but for Your glory alone. Considering this, help us recognize the gifts You have given others and show us the ways we can help them to serve You best.

BY Dr. Chris Rappazini

Dr. Chris Rappazini believes “the Bible is still relevant, leadership is essential, and the church’s best days are still ahead.” Chris is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, the University of Edinburgh, and Gonzaga University. He served as Associate Professor of Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute. Chris and his wife, Ashley, and their children now reside in North Carolina.

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