Posted on Leave a comment

Be an Encourager like Barnabas

Who is Barnabas

Barnabas was a Levite and native of the island of Cyprus. Prior to the disciples naming him Barnabas, he was Joseph. The disciples renamed him with a name that identified his strongest characteristic – he was an encourager. What if the disciples were to rename you with a name that identified your strongest characteristic? What would your name be?

Barnabas sold his property and gave the proceeds to the church in Jerusalem (Acts 4:36-37). He was also the man that introduced Saul of Tarsus (later named Paul), to the Jerusalem church (Acts 9:26-27). In Acts 11, the early church of Jerusalem heard about the Greek-speaking Gentiles who became believers and a church was planted and established in Antioch. As a result, of the Greeks converting to Christianity, they chose Barnabas to go to Antioch to investigate the preaching to the Gentiles. Barnabas becomes the leader of the work in Antioch and he secures Saul as his assistant. In Acts 11, we learn some important qualities about Barnabas that every Christian should model.

Barnabas was glad

How many times have you gone to church to see some sour-faced saint who can’t seem to do anything but grumble and complain? Maybe that saint is you. When Barnabas arrived at the church in Antioch, Acts 11:23 tells us he was glad. Why? Because he saw the grace of God at work in the church that had been planted there.

Whenever we see God at work, that is cause for gladness and joy. Psalm 122:1 says, “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” What if we went into church each week glad to be there? Glad to meet our Savior in His House? Glad to worship, praise, sing, and fellowship with other believers?

Barnabas encouraged them

The cost of discouraging others

How often does the excitement of a new Christian wear off because the sour-faced, grumpy saint squelched the joy? Maybe it isn’t a sour-face, grumpy saint, but a saint with a large does of unbelief in what God can do with a person who has a willing heart. What about kids coming back from youth camp? What about after the church holds a “revival service”? Or what about when God calls someone to a task but family and friends discourage them because “how could God use that person with their past?” What about the pastor who called it quits because the church could only complain, bicker, and demand their way? Or what about the person who drams of finding a cure for cancer? What about the person that struggles with depression?

The danger of discouraging others

We all need encouragers in our lives! However, if you discourage others from what God has called them to do, you’re actually guilty of quenching the work of the Holy Spirit. What if, because of your discouragement, someone gave up on that dream or walked away from a calling? They could have been the one person to lead someone to Christ but because they gave up and walked away that someone never hears how much Jesus loves them.

Or what about that couple who’s marriage could have been saved but fell apart because of your discouraging words? Or that teen who dreams of finding the cure for cancer begins to believe there is no cure and chooses another path because you made them feel like finding a cure was hopeless. But had they stayed true to the dream God gave them, the cure may have been found. Matthew 12:36 says, “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.”

Sometimes we don’t discourage others with the words we say – but with the looks we give. Or sometimes its in the words we don’t say. You never know what God is saying to a person because God is speaking to them and not you. If He hasn’t let you in on His plan for their lives, then who are you to discourage them? Instead, we need to be a “Barnabas” to others and speak words of encouragement into their lives and pray for the work that God is doing in their lives.

Barnabas and Saul

We need to be like Barnabas and encourage others. It’s not up to us to determine the dream God puts in the heart of another person. Be an encourager. Barnabas not only encouraged the new church at Antioch, but he also encouraged a man named Saul who had been a persecutor of Christians. But then, on his way to Damascus with letters giving him the authority to round up the Christians, he encountered a blinding light and the voice of Jesus. Jesus renames Saul to Paul and from Paul we get the majority of the New Testament.

What if Barnabas had said, “God can’t ever use Saul! He’s known for persecuting Christians. He’ll never be accepted. The Christians will never trust him.” Be very careful who you discourage because you never know the plans God has for another person. Instead, encourage them in their dreams – even the far-fetched crazy dreams because God likes working in the far-fetched and crazy. And He likes using broken people who have willing heart to be obedient to do the far-fetched and crazy tasks God has for them.

Barnabas had purpose

What was Barnabas’ purpose in encouraging the new church at Antioch? To continue with the Lord. God started a work in this Greek, Gentile church and Barnabas’ purpose was to continue that work. In fact, when he saw what God was doing, he left Antioch in search of Saul. He then brought Saul back to Antioch and they stayed there for a year, teaching and growing this new church.

What was the result? A great many people were saved and it was here at Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians. The term “Christians” likely came from Romans who labeled the people who followed Jesus “little Christs.” While they intended it to be an insult, it is actually a title of honor because it meant that the disciples were living Christlike lives. If the Romans were here today, would they label you as “Christian” or “little Christ”? Do we have purpose in our heart to continue the work of Christ? Are we willing to go and get someone and bring them to help carry out that purpose – even if the person the Holy Spirit is directing you to is a very unlikely person?

Barnabas was a good man

Barnabas lived a Christlike life. As Luke (the writer of Acts) penned, “For he was a good man,” he was affirming that Barnabas lived a morally pure life. He was not a thief or the town drunk. Barnabas didn’t cheat on his wife. He did not live habitually in sin. It doesn’t mean Barnabas never sinned, for we all do. However, his reputation was one that identified him as a man who abstained from evil and sin. In other words, he was a good man.

He was also a man who did the right thing. In Acts 4, he sold his property and gave the money to help the poor saints and relieve their suffering. He found ways to encourage others and he was obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit – even when the instructions were to take a previous-Christian-persecutor-converted-Christian under his wing. After Barnabas’ appearance in Acts, he isn’t mentioned again. However, Paul would go on to do great and might things including writing the numerous books of the New Testament that we read in our Bible today.

Barnabas was full of the Holy Spirit

Barnabas lived out Ephesians 5:18, which says, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:18 tell us that we are walking in the Spirit when we are led by the Spirit. We are all full of something. Maybe its sports, work, money, hobbies, family, possessions, fame or love. But if we are full of these things without being full of the Holy Spirit then we’re really just full of bologna. When our lives are full of these things, we allow these things to control our lives, our time, our wallets. But when we live Spirit-led lives, we live in humility toward God, surrendering our will to His and the result is a live of joy and thanksgiving – remember that Barnabas was glad?- he had good reason to be because He was full of the Holy Spirit.

Barnabas was full of Faith

Barnabas had Faith in God

He didn’t have a wavering faith. Barnabas didn’t have faith only when things were going good. Barnabas had a deep faith in God. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them than diligently seek him” Barnabas was full of faith. He believed and obeyed the gospel. He acknowledged that Jesus was his Lord and lived in obedience to him.

Barnabas had Faith in Others

Barnabas also had faith in his brothers and sisters in Christ. Everyone else would have shunned Saul – but Barnabas took under his wing. He listened to Saul’s conversion experience. He also listened to the Holy Spirit who prompted him to go get Saul and bring him to Antioch to help with the new church there.

Saul wasn’t the only convert that Barnabas had faith in. John Mark was Barnabas’ counsin and on the first missionary journey, they took John Mark with them, but when they reached Perga, John Mark went back home. On the 2nd missionary journey, Barnabas hasn’t given up on John Mark and he wants to take him with them again, but Saul (now called Paul) refused. Still Barnabas didn’t give up on John Mark. Instead, Paul and Silas went one way while Barnabas and John Mark went another. We know that Barnabas continued encouraging and training John Mark because later, Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:11, “Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.” Paul gave up on him, but Barnabas did not. And now Paul says that John Mark is useful to him for ministry.

Who do you need to be a “Barnabas” to?

Someone today is ready to give up. Someone is hurting. There is someone that is questioning God and don’t understand. Today there is a new Christian who needs to be introduced to the church and taken under a wing. There is someone who needs training and nurturing in spiritual matters. Someone is lost and on their way to hell. Will you listen to the quiet prompting of the Holy Spirit and be a Barnabas today?

click here to listen to our daily devotions on Spotify and be sure to follow us.

Do you have an event on the calendar and need a speaker?

We’re offering 15% off our speaker fees if you book by July 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: SUMMER2021.

We’re excited to be a part of your ministry and can’t wait to see you – no matter what size your event.


Help support our ministry:


Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount


Or enter a custom amount

Your contribution is appreciated and will help us grow and expand our ministry. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

[Download not found]

Download our Free 2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

[Download not found]
Bible Reading Plan Download

Download our Free 2021 Daily Bible Reading Plan

With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

[Download not found]

Download our Free Self-Care Wheel

The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

[Download not found]

<<<SPOTLIGHTING>>> In the Spreadshop Store:


The psalmist reminds us that when our sins are forgiven, God removes them from us as far as the east is from the west.


The slide show below highlights some of our favorite Christian Tees designs available in our Spreadshop and Teespring stores.

  • Revive Us Again, Lord

Canvas art and posters are available in the Teespring store. Many of our Christian Tees are also available at Teespring.

New in the Teespring Store: All Things New

All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

To see the collection of Canvas and Poster Prints

Need some music to get you through the day? Check out one of our Playlists on YouTube

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

WestBow Press logo

Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

Christianbook Distributors logo
Everything Christian for less!

Looking for a Bible Study, Bible, book or Christian gift? We are an affiliate with Christianbook Distributors and receive an 8% commission on any item purchased through one of our links. However, the commission never increases your cost of any item. View some of our favorite items by clicking on the logo and thank you for supporting our ministry.

Christianbook Distributors Search:

Wellspring Christian Ministries receives an 8% commission on any purchased made from Christian Book Distributors through any affiliate link on this site. Your price for any item is the same as purchasing from CBD directly.

Here’s some of our recent posts.

A non-profit ministry located in Jacksonville, FL 

Follow us on:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is FB-logo.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is linked-in-logo-1.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is twitter-bird.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is instgram-logo.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is pintrest-logo.png