“News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 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: 22-23

BARNABAS THE ENCOURAGER

My dad is the greatest encourager I’ve ever known. Even at nearly 90 years old, you can count on him to bring a smile to your face no matter what challenges you’re up against. To be a true encourager isn’t simply saying nice words that cheer someone up, but it’s the ability to make a person feel better about himself.

Barnabas was a great encourager. At that time, the early church was facing severe persecution and many believers scattered. Fleeing Jerusalem to cities as far away as Cyprus, Phoenicia (Lebanon), and Antioch in northern Syria, the church spread and multiplied along the way (Acts 11:19).

When Barnabas, a respected leader of the church in Jerusalem, met these new believers he was thrilled at all God was doing in the lives of both Jews and Gentiles. That’s when Barnabas offered these new believers the greatest kind of encouragement anyone could ever receive. He reminded them to keep their eyes on God and to walk in His will, no matter the cost or difficulties along the way (My Paraphrase). In other words, Barnabas emboldened them with courage to live for Jesus.

Are you in need of some encouragement? Maybe you haven’t yet responded to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Just like the early church, you too can choose to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who paid the penalty for your sins by dying on the cross and rising from the dead. Hold onto the words of Barnabas and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.  Knowing God’s love in Jesus is the greatest encouragement you can ever receive.

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