Son of Encouragement

Bruce Hoffman

READ : Acts 11:19-30

Barnabas was from Cyprus and was a wealthy landowner. Although he was not as prominent as Paul or Peter in the Book of Acts, he nevertheless played an important role in the early church. In our reading today, some commendable things are said about him as a Christian. He is said to be “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith.” Wow! How those qualities are needed in our churches today!

Another outstanding feature of the life of Barnabas was that he was an encourager. (Barnabas means “son of encouragement.”) The old country and western song Home On the Range says, “Where seldom is heard a discouraging word. . . .” I like that! Our world today is filled with discouragement. The attitude and action of the Christian can make life an upbeat experience!

When the church at Jerusalem heard about the many conversions in the fledgling church at Antioch, it sent Barnabas to encourage the new converts to remain faithful to the good news of Jesus they had come to embrace. The ministry of encouragement is something that every Christian can do for the Lord. A warm approving smile or appropriate words that lift and encourage may be just the “key” to helping someone on to victory. Have you given encouragement to anyone today?

PRAYER

Lord, may our eyes and hearts be open to someone who needs our encouragement today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.