In Acts 4 we are introduced to a man called Barnabas and we are told that his name meant ‘Son of encouragement’ (Acts 4:37). He sought out and assisted others – in Acts 9 we read that he went and brought Paul before the Apostles and vouched for the legitimacy of his salvation. It was Barnabas who stood up for John Mark in a disagreement with Paul, and who gave him a second chance by taking him on a missionary trip to Cyprus (Acts 15:36-41).
Barnabas was willing to take a risk on people and believed that, in getting alongside them, he could encourage them in their faith.
In Philippians 2:3-4 we are told that, as followers of Christ, we should ‘do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than ourselves. We are not to look to our own interests but to the interests of others’. In 1 Thessalonians 5:1 we are told to ’encourage one another and build one another up’. Each of us should look to be a ’Barnabas’ to those around us – to draw alongside and seek to build one another up in the faith; to pray for each other and to remind each other of the wonderful Saviour we have in Jesus Christ. Who can you encourage this week?