A Committed Encourager

by Cynthia Jennings on April 26, 2023

This is a prime example of how God’s Word will meet you where you are.

As I began reading Galatians chapter 1 the first footnote referenced Acts 13:2-14:28. As I am reading about Paul & Barnabas’ first missionary journey, Barnabas’s name stood out as never before. So instead of plowing through my reading, I slowed down. In my NIV study bible, there is a description of Barnabas that appeared to be in neon lights. This information was exciting to read. {THANK GOD FOR AN OPEN HEART AND TEACHABLE SPIRIT}.

As someone who has the gift of exhortation, the enemy loves to whisper lies to try to make me believe exhortation is not returned to me.

This leads me to the gem I found while studying. We all know that Jesus is the ultimate exhorter. However, when I read about Barnabas, it gave me more insight to who he was outside of being a Levite by birth, a member of the Jewish tribe who performed temple duties and a respected leader in the church who accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey. God did not haphazardly set Barnabas aside to travel with Paul, God specifically chose Barnabas because everyone needs encouragement. And Barnabas was just that, the “encourager” or should I say the exhorter.

A man born a Levite named Joseph (Acts 4:36) was such an encourager that he earned the nickname “Son of Encouragement” or “Barnabas” from the Jewish Christians around him.

Barnabas was such an encourager that he was the one man who helped the Christians to accept the truth that their greatest enemy Saul (Acts 9:26-27) no longer was a persecutor of the church. Instead Saul whose name was changed to Paul was indeed a follower of Jesus Christ (Acts 9:1-19).

Barnabas was a committed encourager (Acts 11:22-26). The verb “encouraged” (exhorted) is in the imperfect tense, which means that he repeatedly encouraged Christians to persevere in their loyalty to God.

Barnabas was fully consecrated to the Lord that he rejoiced to see anyone (even Gentiles) accepting Christ as their Savior. Barnabas “exhorted” (encouraged) the people at Antioch to stay true to and close to the Lord at any cost. Perhaps this was Barnabas’ way of telling them to remain true to God even when temptations and test come.

” 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” (Acts 11:23).

Acts 11:24 description of Barnabas is a very noble portrayal of any human being. The writer of Acts says this of Barnabas: He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.”

As I read this verse, I paused. I took this as not only something said about Barnabas, but this is something that could{should} be said about each of us.

Barnabas — Was good, generous, and tenderhearted. Barnabas was of esteemed character, honorable, respectable with high moral standards.

Barnabas Was full of the Holy Spirit — That is, Barnabas had experienced an endowment of power for witnessing and service. Barnabas was not driven by personal ambition and selfish desires and was willing to work and let others get the credit.

Barnabas was overflowing with faith — Barnabas had strong convictions and a settled confidence in the reliability of God’s Word. Barnabas believed that God is able to transform persons who come to the Lord Jesus in faith and repentance.

As you read these three descriptions of Barnabas, wherever you see his name insert your name. Then ask yourself, are these qualities that you possess?

Like Barnabas, we too can be a source of encouragement to others in their journey through life. And by God’s grace, we can point them to Jesus and help them grow.


PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I thank You for the notable example of exhortation displayed in Barnabas. Forgive me for those times when I had the opportunity to encourage someone, and I did not because I only thought of the discomfort or inconvenience it would cause me. I pray for another opportunity to encourage someone so that they will see Your glory. It is because of Your grace that someone encouraged me. Father, please continue to extend that same grace to me. In Jesus Name, Amen

PEARLStoPONDER: The value of encouragement is often missed because it tends to be private instead of public.


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