Acts 4:37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Barnabas sold his land and gave the money to the disciples. The thing that is most striking to me is that he gave the money with no strings attached. Often when we give something of value, we would like to have a say of how it is used. Barnabas gave the money without expectations of anything in return. As we encourage and develop others, we must do so with this same attitude – expecting nothing in return. QUESTION: What is the easiest for you to give, your time, talent, or treasure? Conversely, which is the most difficult.
H IS FOR HOLY GHOST
Acts 11:24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
It has been said, “You can’t lead people where you have not been yourself.” If we are to be encouragers than we must be encouraged. In these dark and troubled times, we can’t stay encouraged of our own accord. Scripture tells us that Barnabas was FULL of the Holy Ghost and of faith. If we are going to encourage this world, we must be full of the Holy Ghost. Only through His power can we encourage abandoned children that there is hope, men to stand up and lead their families, and single mothers that they will survive. It’s with His anointing that we can encourage others beyond our capacity. QUESTION: How do you fill your spiritual tank when you are filling empty?
I IS FOR INFLUENCE
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Craig Parro, the author of A Lasting Legacy: Investing Our Lives in People, a study on the life of Barnabas stated, “Barnabas, realizing that he possessed influence among the apostles, decided to spend that influence willingly on behalf of Saul even though other believers might criticize or even try to ostracize Barnabas from the fellowship. But he was willing to risk it all for the kingdom of God and the glory of God.” Parro continues by stating, “Do you know that you are a person of influence? A considerable number of people respect you and your opinions. Don’t underestimate the influence you have—more people admire you and listen to you than you realize. Your influence is the most precious asset.” It has been said that on any given day that a minimum of seven people are watching you. That is influence. How you use that influence is up to you. QUESTION: What is one way you can use your Godly influence this week?
J IS FOR JOSEPH
Acts 4:36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus.
My favorite part of the story of Barnabas is that it is not even his real name. We see that his parents named him Joseph, but he was such an encourager that those who knew him started calling him by the nickname of Barnabas – Son of Encouragement! QUESTION: What would your nickname be if your family, co-workers, and church members based it off of your behavior?
K IS FOR KIND WORDS
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
Encouragement comes in large part by the words that we use. My daughter got a new dress for school; she was so excited about wearing it and all of the compliments she would get. When I picked her up from school, I asked her if everyone liked her dress. She said that no one mentioned it but that a teacher liked her leggings. I asked her what the teacher said, and she replied, “The teacher said, ‘Honey, I love your leggings,’ dad, she is really nice.” I asked her if she knew this teacher and she told me it was the first time that she had talked to her. My point is simple; the teacher said five words -“Honey, I love your leggings” – conclusion, “dad, she is really nice.” By five simple words, this teacher made an impact on my daughter. Barnabas also made an impact on Paul and John Mark with his words of defense and affirmation. It has been said, “If you can be anything, be kind.” QUESTION: How can you use kind words to influence others?
L IS FOR LEGACY
Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
Through the power of encouragement, Barnabas left a tremendous legacy of churches and leaders. During an exciting journey that includes bold preaching and miraculous signs and wonders (14:3), Barnabas and Paul established churches and left behind a recognized system of elders for governing (14:23). QUESTION: What Godly legacy will you leave behind?