Summary: Barnabas our unsung hero of the faith became known as an encourager – he was so good at it - God changed his name from Joseph to Barnabas – which means encourager.
Acts 4:36-37: 36Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
26When he (Paul) came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.
27But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.
28So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.
29He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him.
30When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
31Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
12:25 When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark...Acts 13:13: …where John left them to return to Jerusalem.”
Disagreement Between Paul and Barnabas
36Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.”
37Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them,
38but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.
39They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus,
40but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord.
41He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
Our unsung hero this week is Barnabas he was known as one who encourages others.
The church is to be like Barnabas, “One who encourages another!”
Quote: “Encouragement goes straight to the heart. In fact, the word itself comes from a combination of the prefix “en” which means “to put into” and the Latin word “cor” which means heart. Knowing what a big difference encouragement makes in your own life, what can you do to help others “to take heart” when the going gets tough and way feels long?” ( From http://powertochange.com/experience/life/encourage/).
Video Illustration: Acts of random kindness which encourage others!
How necessary is encouragement?
1 Thessalonians 5:11: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
Everyone is looking for encouragement whether they admit it or not. It’s a spiritual need as well as an emotional need. The church should be the biggest dispenser of encouragement.
What direction do you follow in your life?
Barnabas our unsung hero of the faith became known as an encourager – he was so good at it - God changed his name from Joseph to Barnabas – which means encourager.
The lack of encouragement is also epidemic. To illustrate this point, when did you last encourage someone else? I firmly believe that and individual is never more Christ like than when they are full of compassion for those who are down, needy, discouraged, or forgotten. How terribly essential is our commitment to encouragement! Is there someone you know that you need to encourage? A student off at school…a young couple up against it…a divorcee struggling to gain back self-acceptance…a forgotten servant of God laboring in an obscure and difficult ministry…a widow who needs your companionship…someone who tried something new and failed? Encourage generously! Encouragement! A new watchword for our times “Encourager” --- Shout it out. Pass it around.
We live in a very discouraging world – and we the Church the Body of Christ need to be the biggest encouragers in it.
Barnabas life screams at us to go out and encourage someone else and it reveals the positive results of this type of attitude and mindset. .
William Barclay, in his book The Letter to the Hebrews wrote: One of the highest of human duties is the duty of encouragement…It is easy to laugh at men’s ideals; it is easy to pour cold water on their enthusiasm; it is easy to discourage others. The world is full of discouragers. We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a man on his feet. Blessed is the man who speaks such a word.