Be An Encourager (Barnabas)
Christians should build up one another in Christ.
Romans 14:19Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
2 Peter 1:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
(Can’t have the previous and not receive the following)
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This lesson is based on the example of a man named Barnabas, who is mentioned several times in The Acts of The Apostles. Barnabas was known in the early church as one who encouraged others to serve the Lord Jesus. He first appears in the story of the early Church in the book of Acts as a very generous Christian. Later, he was instrumental in introducing the newly converted Saul (Paul) to the church at Jerusalem. Then, he facilitated the growth of the church in Antioch in Syria by inviting Paul to come help him teach there. After this, he accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey. Always, Barnabas was building up other Christians.
?Questions? Ask yourself:
What kind of effect do I have on my fellow Christians?
Am I discouraging or encouraging them?
What kind of effect do I have on the unsaved?
Do I encourage or discourage them to become Christians?
Since it is rewarding to operate under the anointing; if we are only dedicated to our prayer life, worship life and dedication to the church when it is our time to minister, we are only seeking the reward and that’s not relationship.
A Christian should never have to seek for the anointing, the anointing is simply the overflow of relationship!
I. A GENEROUS MAN
A. An Attitude for Giving
32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
……. This is the account of the early stage in the development of the church at Jerusalem. The Believers were so intent on imitating the compassion and generosity of Jesus in their Fellowship, they adopted a way of life in which “they had all things common” (v. 32.)
Because the church at Jerusalem was composed of Jewish beliefs in Jesus as the Messiah, they had a Heritage in Judaism that taught them to be generous to the poor, widows, orphans, and strangers. Motivated by this Heritage, they provided for the needy in their midst. Wealthy members of the church at Jerusalem sold property and gave the proceeds to the apostles for distribution to those in need (v. 35).
B. Example of Generosity
36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
……. This wealthy man displayed such generosity that the apostles gave him a name which literally means “Son of Encouragement”.
C. Instruction for Giving
1 Timothy 6:
17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
…….There is power in giving!
Giving to those in need is always rewarding.
Many of us think and claim that we don’t have enough to give but this is never true.
We wonder why we have more month at the end of our money rather than money at the end of our month, and it always stems from our giving or the lack thereof.
If you could ask the ones who are obviously more blessed, what the secret is, they would tell you of the dedication in their giving.
II. A COMPASSIONATE MENTOR
A. Barnabas Introduces Paul
26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.
……. Because of Paul’s past, he was stereotyped and no one believed God had changed him. After all, he had be a cruel prosecutor of the new found church of Jesus Christ.
27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
……. Barnabas didn’t give account to the facts of Paul’s past. He knew there was a change and encouraged his ministry.
Even though it put his ministry and reputation on the line, he still followed the Spirit’s compelling.
Because of Barnabas’ introduction of Paul, the greatest missionary of all time was engaged!
B. Barnabas Ministers at Antioch
19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.
20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.
21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
……. Persecution against the church should always have a positive outcome.
22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
…….The shoice isade long before the position ever comes open.
23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
25 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:
……. Why did Paul go back to his home town?
26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
27 And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.
28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.
29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:
30 Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
…….Not only was he an encouraging minister, but a man who encouraged others ministries. How many of us can say that we encourage ministry?
C. Barnabas Helps Mark
36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.
37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.
38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;
40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.
……. Barnabas even took a man who had at one time been a risk to the ministry, and was rejected by others.
III. AN EFFECTIVE MISSIONARY
A. Barnabas Chosen by God
1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.
6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:
7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.
……. When what is now commonly called “Paul’s First Missionary Journey” began, Barnabas was in the lead, and their first stop was on Cyprus, the the home of Barnabas. The Roman Deputy of Cyprus, Desiring to hear the word of God, called for Barnabas and Saul. (Vs. 7) However, after their Ministry on Cyprus was completed, Paul and his company loosed from Paphos and came to Perga in Asia Minor (vs 13), indicating that Paul was now in the lead.
……. Christian’s almost invariably speak of Paul and Barnabas, with no thought of how crucial Barnabas was to Paul’s life and Ministry in the early church. No doubt, God has some reward for Barnabas for every soul one to Christ by Paul. Barnabas did not seek for himself Glory or praise, and was happy to help others succeed in service to Christ a-good example for us to follow.
B. Paul and Barnabas in Asia
1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
4 But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
5 And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them,
6 They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:
7 And there they preached the gospel.
21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
24 And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.
25 And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia:
26 And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.
27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.
28 And there they abode long time with the disciples.
……. Paul and Barnabas worked together as effective evangelists, preaching and teaching the gospel in cities across Asia Minor that had not yet heard the gospel. They won many converts to faith in Christ, both Jews and Gentiles, and endured much opposition and persecution, including the Apostle Paul being stoned and left for dead.
Barnabas was very good at encouraging and helping other Christians to serve and succeed, and he was also very good at working with others in Christian Ministry. Barnabas did not have to be the leader to give his best to Christ and the church. Barnabas was an individual friend to his fellow Christians. These are qualities every Christian should desire.