Scripture Passage: Acts 4:36-37
The Book of Acts tells the story of a man called Barnabas, which translates to, “son of consolation.” Barnabas’ gift for encouragement shows us five ways we can encourage others.
First, Barnabas encouraged others by practicing stewardship.
In Acts 4:36, Barnabas sold his property and gave the profits to the Church. He decided to meet the needs of others with the resources God had given him, no matter what it cost him. Encouragers understand that we all have something to give. Encouragers find needy people and enrich them, whether it’s by their money, time, or service.
Second, Barnabas encouraged others by extending friendship.
After the Apostle Paul’s conversion, he was despised by his old colleagues, but feared by his new brothers and sisters in Christ. He was a man who needed a friend; Barnabas found him and became a friend to this very lonely new disciple. A lot of new Christians need somebody to find and friend them. We must find the lonely and neglected, put an arm around them, and bring them into the fold.
Barnabas encouraged others by building partnerships.
In Acts 11, the Gospel was spreading quickly, and new believers were sprouting up everywhere. There were some concerns that some of them were not sincere. But Barnabas’s encouragement validated and affirmed those who were misunderstood.
Barnabas encouraged others by developing leaders in the church.
He found buried gifts in new disciples and helped them develop their talents. Our churches are full of talented people with abilities waiting to be discovered and developed. But it takes a “Barnabas” to find them.
Finally, Barnabas encouraged others by rebuilding relationships.
After the disciple Mark ran away from his calling, Barnabas sought him out and gave him another chance. This young disciple went on to write the Gospel of Mark. Thank God for the encouragers in our churches, who see second chances in us when no one else does.
Adrian Rogers says, “Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost; it was God in Him. God has cornered the market on encouragement.”
We can all be encouragers like Barnabas. Ask God to fan the Holy Spirit in you to meet needs, befriend lonely people, affirm the misunderstood, develop disciples, and offer second chances.