We are first introduced to Barnabas in Acts 4- when he sells some property to give to the apostles. Because of the timeliness of this gift they give him the nickname- “son of encouragement”. In Acts 9- Barnabas makes the risky move of trusting a religious terrorist- Paul! He introduces Paul to the disciples who have been careful about embracing Paul’s conversion . He goes on the first missionary journey with Paul to encourage new believers.
I am a blessed man because I have had many Barnabas’ in my life. I remember my Mom telling me how fortunate I was to have so many good friends. Today I began a quick list of people who have been there for me- the list grew to 20+ very quickly. Here are some traits of the Barnabas’ in my life:
- They walked in when others walked out
- They spoke about my strengths when all I saw was failure
- They introduced me to their friends in a way that made me feel valued
- They reminded me of how God has used me when I felt helpless
- They didn’t watch me make mistakes and let them go- they risked pushing in and challenging my poor decision making.
So here is my thought- why not make a list of those who have been a Barnabas for you and pray for them today, thank God for them and maybe even write them a note of appreciation.
Ask this question- where do I need to be a Barnabas? God has placed people in your life that need a boost right now or a word of encouragement. Why not take a moment, pray for them and then encourage them!
I have lived long enough to experience my fill of draining people- and sometimes I get tired of them (you do too if you are honest). But- I have never gotten tired of the encouragers in my life. I believe I am a better disciple, husband, father, pastor and friend because of the encouragers God has placed in my life.
So what will you do?