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March 10, 2022

The Heart Of Barnabas

The Heart Of Barnabas

What does it look like to have an encourager in your life?

We all want to have people that will speak life and encouragement to us when we are going through a trial or crisis.

Does that person have a selfish or selfish agenda?

Are they looking for way to lift you up even if it means they take a back seat to your accomplishments?

Do you have a BARNABAS your life?

What was so special about Barnabas?
He is mentioned only in a few chapters in Acts, 1 Corinthians, Galatians and Colossians; yet he had such an impact that the majority of the New Testament was written by those he encouraged.

In this episode, I will share with you the 3 key character traits that Barnabas displayed and how we can apply those same traits in our lives to be an encouragement to others. We can also us these key areas for what to look for in a person that we are seeking as a mentor.
1. He was a good man
2. He was full of the Holy Spirit
3. He was strong in his faith

Acts 4:36,37
Acts 9:27
Acts 11:24 ( 3 key character traits)
Acts 13-15
2 Timothy 4:11

Intro -
It's Time by Ealot - https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/4XvPw1VzFE/
Train of Thought by Ealot- https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/wXHX9VhnF8/


Did you have someone in your life that was there to encourage you when you felt like you couldn’t accomplish the task?

Was it  your mom or dad helping you learn to play a sport? Maybe a teacher encouraged you that you felt like you were a failure.

Then as you got older; your spouse, friend, boss, supervisor or even your pastor came along with words of encouragement when you were going through a trial or tough situation in your life.

What was it in that person that they saw something in you that others or even yourself couldn’t see? 

Did it almost seem like they had some sort of sixth sense or x-ray vision to detect the true potential you had to accomplish the task that you or others couldn’t detect?

We all need those people in our lives that can encourage us in the difficult times that we feel like we are junk, not good enough, or any negative thoughts we have about ourselves.

There was someone like that in the Bible and in this episode I will share the characteristics that he displayed and how we can apply them in our lives to help others; but also what to look for in someone that can bring encouragement to you. In episode 53 of The 318 Project.

Hello, I’m Ryan Hare and welcome to the 318 project. 

You probably had someone in mind that I was describing in the intro. You and I have had that person or several people in our lives that encouraged us in tough times.

So who was this person in the Bible and what was so special about him?

Well, you may have already guessed by a few clues in the introduction. When most pastors or leaders talk about encouragement in the Bible the name that comes up most often is BARNABAS!

So what was so special about Barnabas?

Here is a man that is mentioned in only a few chapters in the  Book of Acts and then once in 1 Corinthians, Galatians and Colossians; yet he had such an impact that the majority of the New Testament was written by those he encouraged.

Barnabas had 3 key character traits that we can apply to our lives.

Barnabas was first mentioned in Acts 4:36, 37. His name was Joseph, that the apostles nicknamed Barnabas, which means “Son of Encouragement”. 

He was born from the tribe of Levi, yet his family had moved at some point before that he was from the island of Cyprus. 

In verse 37, it tells that Barnabas sold a field that he had owned and brought the money to the apostles. This was to help with the needs of orphans, widows and other needs of the apostles and church.

Here we already see that he had an impact on the apostles in that they had given him the name Barnabas because of how he was encouraging and uplifting to many in Jerusalem.

The next time we see Barnabas is in Acts chapter 9:27 when he has brought Saul before the apostles and tells them of Saul's conversion, but also of his boldly preaching to the people in Damascus.

Here is one of the key elements that Barnabas displaced in that he saw the change in someone's life even when others saw their past actions and had concern. The apostles and other Christians remembered that Saul had been seeking to kill them earlier and now he was preaching. Many felt that this might have been a trick to capture them, but Barnabas saw the transformation in Saul’s life.

While preparing for this episode, I looked up to find what some synonyms for encourager were. A few of them were cheerleader, applauder, follower, disciple, advocate, apostle gospeler, supporter, promoter, friend and high priest.

When we hear those words we begin to see how Barnabas was called the Son of Encouragement. He had those character traits that stood out to the others around him. It is those same traits that we should be looking for in those around us. Those that we call a close friend, cheerleader, follower. 

We see how a few of these words described others in the Bible as a disciple, apostle, gospeler, and high Priest with Jesus Christ being all of these in One.

Have you had someone in your life that could vouch for you to others and it was like what they said carried weight as a confirmation about you?

After the stoning of Stephen, many Christians fled for fear of persecution throughout the region as the Gospel spread. In Chapter 11, we see that many believers were saved in Antioch and when the church in Jerusalem heard it they sent Barnabas. When he saw the evidence of God’s blessing it says that he was filled with joy and ENCOURAGED the believers to stay true to the Lord. 

In verse 24, it shows you and me the three characteristics that we should look for in those that we can call a “Barnabas” in our lives.

1. He was a good man. This means he had a good and strong character. His word was his bond and many listened when he spoke.

2. He was full of the Holy Spirit. You may find someone that may not be a christian that will encourage you, but one that is full of the Holy Spirit isn’t looking for an agenda of why they are doing it. Even when we read and study the Bible it says that the Holy Spirit is our comforter. It isn’t about bringing attention to oneself of what they are doing to help others.

3. He was strong in the Faith. Barnabas had spent time in prayer and in growing and strengthening his faith. He had faced trial and test and his testimony was one that encouraged others. 

It is these character traits that not only did Barnabas display, but what he also tried to instill in those that he mentored and discipled.

The key person that we see him stand with was Saul/Paul. Barnabas was drawn to people he could encourage, from the Christians in Jerusalem then in Antioch and finally the Christians wherever he and Paul went on their missionary journey.

The other person we see that Barnabas had an impact on was John Mark. Scripture shows that Mark and Barnabas were cousins. Mark had joined Barnabas and Paul on their first missionary trip to assist them. It was during this time when you read in Acts chapter 13 that in the beginning it talks about the diversity of the prophets and teachers of the church of Antioch, and that through pray and fasting the “Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” 
As you continue to read in chapter 13 you see that Barnabas is mentioned first. This was usually an indication of who the leader of the group was; but in verse 13, Paul is now mentioned first as this indicates a change in leadership. 

Now nowhere do we see that Barnabas was upset or discouraged in this transition. However we do see that at this time in the trip that Mark decided to return home as Paul and Barnabas continue on.

Later again we see that after they had preached in Derbe, Lystra, Iconium and Antioch that they strengthened and encouraged the believers to continue in the faith, while reminding them that they would face trials and persecution.

The last time that we read of Barnabas in Acts is in Chapter 15 verses 36 - 41. At this time Paul and Barnabas were about to begin their second mission trip when Barnabas wanted to take John Mark with them again. Paul was upset that Mark had left before and didn’t want him to come along. This led to a disagreement and they separated and went their separate ways with Barnabas taking Mark with him and Paul taking Silas.

We see that in all that had happened before, Barnabas saw something in Mark that was special and continued to encourage and strengthen him. We never read what he did to help Mark, but we later see in 2 Timothy 4:11 when Paul tells Timothy to “Bring Mark with you when you come, for he will be helpful to me in my ministry.”

That is what mentoring and discipleship is about. Seeing the potential in others even if it means that they surpass you and your accomplishment. Barnabas wasn’t about what his goals were but to further the kingdom of God and the believers; and if that meant taking a back seat to Paul then that was his role to continue while strengthening those he was with.

These same traits we see passed down to Paul in his writings to Timothy, Titus and several of the churches that he did to encourage them.

In all of this it becomes a two-fold action. While Paul may have been looking and praying for someone to encourage, Barnabas was looking for those he could encourage. He had something in him that he wanted to share with others. From that we see how Paul then encouraged Silas, Timothy and Titus to then be able for them to encourage those after them.

That is what you and I are called to do. Not only look for those that can be an encouragement to us when we are struggling and facing a crisis; but to also then be an encouragement to others to help them grow in their faith.

This is so vital in discipleship that you see something in someone whether it’s a calling, gift, talent, skill or anointing and then pour into their life to help develop and see what God has for each person. 

This is important for you too. When someone sees something special about your life that God may have for you that He will send that person to speak into your life.

This was key in my life that I have had a couple of men that have come into my life and spoken words of encouragement, but also words of correction in love to help me grow.

They saw something in me that at the time I didn’t see in myself of what God had for me. Even now at times, I have those moments and thoughts that I am not good enough, smart enough, talented as others, too shy or not connected with the right people to make an impact; that God reminds me through those Barnabas’ in my life that it isn’t about those things but that I am faithful, have a good character and full of the Holy Spirit to hear what God is telling me.

So I want to thank you for taking the time to listen to this episode. I hope that it has been an encouragement to you. I want you to take the time this week to pray and ask God to show you those that can be a Barnabas to you, but also who you can be a Barnabas for them. 

As always, if you can take the time to rate and leave a review of what you think about this episode and podcast on those platforms that allow you to leave a review. This will help to spread the podcast and help others to find it. Also, if you can share it with others to help encourage them would be helpful.

The goal is to help mentor, disciple and encourage others to grow in their faith and walk with God. And as always I want you to have a blessed and wonderful day!