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The Life of Barnabas

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The Life of Barnabas Throughout the Bible, Barnabas is known as the encourager. While he is only in a few chapters in the New Testament his impact is widespread and lasting. Joseph was his given name, but he was such an encouragement to others that he earned the nickname, "Son of Encouragement" which is translated as Barnabas. It was Barnabas who helped first Paul and then Mark to keep their spirits up despite the trials surrounding them; and it was the encouragement of Barnabas that helped the early church survive. Barnabas is introduced in Acts 3:36 where he is referred to as "Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus." It is here that he is given the name Barnabas which he keeps from here on out. Barnabas was a respected leader in the church in Jerusalem and he was so touched by the message of God that he sold his lands and brought all the money to the apostles and laid it at their feet. ...read more.


It is so important to not only remember the encouragers, but to be encouragers ourselves. Paul puts a great deal of emphasis on the importance of Barnabas' encouragement as a part of bringing the masses to Christ. My margin notes say that wherever Barnabas encouraged Christians, non-believers flocked to the Lord's teaching. What an awesome testament for one person's life. After he was sent to Antioch to encourage fellow believers, Barnabas stayed at the church there as a teacher. When God called Paul to his first missionary journey, He also sent Barnabas with Paul to encourage his spirit. The Holy Spirit spoke to the church at Antioch and said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them" (Acts 13:2). They traveled to Cyprus to Antioch in Galatia and many were converted to the Lord by their teaching. No human is perfect and Barnabas was no exception to this rule. While he was teaching with Peter he struggled with working among the Gentiles. ...read more.


Barnabas felt strongly that Mark should accompany him that he left Paul and their shared ministry. In verse 39, Barnabas took Mark and sailed for the island of Cyprus while Paul took Silas and left the area, "commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord" (Acts 15:40). This is the last time Barnabas' work is spoken of and it's sad that such a positive work is ended so badly. I don't know whether both men and neither of the men were in the right about their argument. It is however an illustration of how even those in the midst of God's work can allow their pride to interfere. Barnabas' story is in and of itself one of encouragement and confidence. He gave everything to the Lord and was richly rewarded. What a phenomenal testimony to those around him! I find strength and encouragement from the story of Barnabas; but there is also a caution of over zealousness and the effects it can have. It does make me stop and remember to praise the Lord for the encouragers in my life and to desire to be an encourager in the life of others. ...read more.

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