Be a Barnabas!
Jul 27, 2014 1158
A little while ago I was doing some cleaning up and I came a cross range of little gifts that my son and daughter had made for me over the years while they were small. There were hand-made father’s day gifts, birthday cards, and just gifts for the sake of gifts. As I read the messages that they had written with their little fingers and unpracticed hands, I realized a common thread – they were all uplifting me and they were all encouraging. As I thought about the difficult years that our family has been through, I realized just how much I needed these messages. Praise God for the little encouragers that he sent into my life! What is it about life that so often grinds us down into cynicism and negativity, so that we forget to encourage others? As I read those messages from my children, I remembered Barnabas in Acts 4:36–37. Barnabas wasn’t his real name; it was Joseph (see v.36). But the apostles called him “Barnabas,” which means “Son of Encouragement” because of his preeminent quality of encouraging the apostles, and notably Paul, in their ministry. Would Saul ever have really become Paul without Barnabas? The gospel is all about encouragement; it is the most encouraging news ever given – that because of what Jesus has done, we can all be accepted before God. It is a message that it will all turn our well in the end. And the gospel also tells us that we must all be born again as “Children of Encouragement.” So I say thank you to my son and daughter; you have helped our family get through some really though times in years past. And I say to myself, and I say to you all, whatever your name may be, “Be a Barnabas!” Eliezer Gonzalez