News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. Acts 11:22-24
Be An Encourager!
His real name was Joseph but his friends called him Barnabas, which means the son of encouragement (Acts 4:36). You don’t get a nickname unless there is a specific reason for it. That is the case now, and even back then, it was true as well.!
The first time we see this man in the book of Acts, he has sold a field and brought the proceeds to the apostles as a donation to the work of the early church. The next time – Acts 9 – he is introducing Saul the persecutor of the church, as a potential asset to them. Not long before God had miraculously spoken to Saul on the road to Damascus and in a short time, he was transformed from one who hated the followers of Jesus into one who would become His most ardent defender and expositor, Paul the Apostle. But it would take some convincing for the leaders of the church to trust this man. And that’s where Barnabas came in.
After Saul was converted he wasted no time but immediately began to preach, right in Damascus. Many people were convinced through his preaching, that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. However there were others who were not so pleased and they tried to kill him. He escaped and came to Jerusalem where he tried to make contact with the Apostles. It was only after Barnabas told them Saul’s story, did they accept Saul for who he was. Barnabas encouraged Saul (Paul) and there is no telling what would have happened to the ministry of Paul if he had not (I’m sure God would have found a way).
Who are you encouraging today? Whose life and ministry could be better if you played a part in offering a word of encouragement and support? Everyone needs a little help and a kind word can go a long way. Let me tell you a true story from my own experiences. I was about 15 years old when my English Language teacher read one of my essays and said to me: “Dave, you write well, I would love to see your work in print someday.” A lot of years passed before that actually happened but that singular act of encouragement was never forgotten by me and it served as my inspiration to write.
Encourage someone today!!!