Is it important to encourage one another? What does that mean and what does it entail? Being nice? Helping someone? Think about when someone encouraged you and what it meant. Recognizing the need to be an encourager is important, and there are examples in scripture to guide our understanding.
From his book “Max on Life-Answers and Inspiration for Today’s Questions”, Max Lucado shares a great example of encouragement:
An encourager does more than slap a few folks on the back. Sometimes he takes a risk on behalf of someone else. That’s what Barnabas did. He was such a source of encouragement that the apostles changed his name from Joseph to Barnabas, which means “Son of Encouragement” (Acts 4:36). At no point did he live up to his name more than the day he defended a new convert.
No one else wanted anything to do with the guy. Who would want a murderer in the church? But that’s who Saul was. And that’s why the apostles were skeptical.
Barnabas, however, practiced deliberate encouragement. “but Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them he [Saul] had seen the Lord on the road, and that He [Jesus] had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. So, he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out” (Acts 9:27-28 NKJV).
Suppose Barnabas had stayed quiet. Or suppose Barnabas had followed the crowd. Would the church had ever known Paul?
Every life needs a Barnabas. I encourage you to be one to someone else.
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