His name was Alan and his most outstanding attribute was that he loved his Savior. His number one vocation was sharing the gospel and his favorite conversation topic was Jesus. The best teachers are the ones who have an intimate knowledge of the subject they teach. Alan was the greatest Bible teacher I have ever known. The life he lived taught us that the Lord is our Shepherd and we need not want any more than that.
There was a man named Barnabas, he loved Jesus. His vocation was to be an encourager to his brothers in the Lord. His conversation was, “You can do this with Jesus’ help, so get up let’s go.” Barnabas never wrote any great books, but when John Mark and the Apostle Paul were discouraged, he was there to encourage them. Today we can read Mark’s Gospel and Paul’s Epistles because of the encouragement of Barnabas They learned to walk through the valley of the shadow of death with no fear. Because Jesus was there with His rod of protection and comforting staff.
Jesus commanded us to go into the world and make disciples. Alan and Barnabas probably never consider themselves disciple-makers, but they were. Neither of them ever led a weekly discipleship group. But they both taught many to walk in paths of righteousness for the sake of the good name of Jesus.
I don’t think that Barnabas or Alan ever sought to be great in the Kingdom of Heaven. They were servants. They loved God with all their hearts and they loved their neighbors as they loved themselves. Jack McVeigh called Alan a gentle fruit tree. We can read in the Bible about the fruit that Barnabas bore for God, but we will never know how many people Alan reached for Christ. But I do know this, my heart was blessed by this man who was a gentle fruit tree. His name was Alan, now he has walked by the still waters, found rest in the green pastures and will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
From Down Where The Pavement Ends