A Man Named Encouragement

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Different people shape our lives. Who in your life impacted you the most? A parent, a friend, teacher, pastor???
In the Scripture there are people that have been used by God to make a difference:
Abraham - man of faith.
Moses - leadership
Joshua - courageous warrior
David - worshipping king
Paul - champion for Christ
Let me tell you about a man that does not receive a lot of attention—but is absolutely necessary for the advancement of God’s plan to rescue lost people.
Acts 11:22–26 ESV
22 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. 25 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.
Why did the church send Barnabas? What quality did he demonstrate that was needed to advance the cause of Christ?
Acts 11:24 ESV
24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.
Barnabas demonstrates a quality that is urgently needed today in God’s church, among God’s people.
Acts 4:36 ESV
36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus,
Main Idea
Barnabas was a man of encouragement—a person who lifted up those around him—and that is was we need today. In fact, he was such an encouragement, people just started calling him “Son of Encouragement”!
We need someone who will encourage us.
We need to be an encouragement to others.
What can we learn from Barnabas that can help us engage in the ministry of encouragement?

A Good Man

Generous -
Acts 4:37, we are told that he “sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money” to the church.
A person of encouragement is a person generous with their time, talent, treasurer—their givers.
Committed to the Cause of Christ
Missionary, Church planter, and Mentor in ministry
Heart for people to hear the message of Jesus Christ.
He is all-in, holding nothing back for Christ.
Viewed people and opportunities from God’s perspective.
Saul/Paul - an enemy of the church that became a believer.
Acts 9:26-28
Acts 9:26–28 ESV
26 And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord.
The only way Saul/Paul would be accepted, is that Barnabas took a chance (really he just trusted in God).
Because of Barnabas’ courage, the Word of God was preached BOLDLY—encouragement builds courage in others!
John Mark - a quitter that wanted a second change.
Acts 13:13 ESV
13 Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem,
Mark was a partner with Paul and Barnabas in their missionary journey—but he quit.
Acts 15:36–38 ESV
36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” 37 Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work.
Although Mark lost credibility and Paul was not interested in having Mark join the team, Barnabas wanted to give Mark a second chance.
Barnabas took Mark and they continued to serve in ministry.
Later Paul would view Mark with favor—and it was Mark who worked with Peter to write the Gospel of Mark.
The two other qualities that Barnabas demonstrated also empowered him to be a great encourager to the church:

Full of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is referred as a Counselor—an advocate—Someone who comes along side the believer.
The Fullness of the Spirit coupled with a man of encouragement equals a powerful means to enable the church to thrive.

Full of Faith

Barnabas believed—without hesitation.
He believed in the power of God to change lives.
He believed in the church’s mission—and was a full participant in God’s plan to rescue people from their sins.
Full of Goodness
Full of the Holy Spirit
Full of Faith
Hebrews 3:12–13 NIV
12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
Hebrews 10:24–25 ESV
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
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