By Doug Seaton
Barnabas was a faithful, enthusiastic, dedicated, Christian. He was a “good man, and full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith” (Acts 11:24). Shortly after Barnabas became a Christian he sold some land he owned and gave the money to the apostles for the aid of those in need (Acts 4:37). Barnabas had an active religion. There are many good things about Barnabas that we could emulate. We could emulate his giving, his courage to suffer, his faith, or even his dedication to friends. The trait of Barnabas that seems to stand out above all others was his ability to encourage others.
Barnabas encouraged many people. H-a encouraged Paul when the disciples in Jerusalem were afraid of him (Acts 9:27). Barnabas stood by and encouraged Mark when Paul did not want him to go on the second journey (Acts 15:37-38). Barnabas was sent by the church in Jerusalem to encourage the brethren at Antioch. When Barnabas arrived in Antioch he “was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord” (Acts 11:23b).
The church needs men and women today that will encourage others. The church needs men that will encourage others by teaching sound doctrine, by living pure moral lives, and by their enthusiasm in doing the will of God. The church needs women who enjoy helping others, and women that enjoy teaching their children about God. The church also needs older Christians to teach the younger by word and example how important and gratifying it is to be a child of God. The church needs younger Christians that are unafraid to stand against immorality and ungodliness in the world today. Paul told Titus many of these same things 2,000 years ago. See Titus 2.
There are too many Christians walking around looking like they just lost their best friend. We need Christians to build us up and encourage us on the journey from earth to heaven. Are you an encouragement to others? If not, why not?
Truth Magazine XXII: 39, p. 636
October 5, 1978