ABC’S OF BARNABAS: THE POWER OF ENCOURAGEMENT was originally taught in its entirety on November 17, 2017, for Purpose Institute at the First Apostolic Church of Troy Campus, Pastor Marvin Walker.
M IS FOR MISSIONARY JOURNEY
- Acts 13:1-2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
- Encouragement will launch you out of your comfort zone. Barnabas and Saul traveled over 1,400 miles for more than two years and 14 cities. By encouraging Saul, Barnabas was able to go to places he would never have imagined. Once we encourage others, they can supersede us and go places we will never be able to go. QUESTION: What is one way you can expand your comfort zone through the use of encouragement?
N IS FOR NEPHEW
- Acts 15:37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. 38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. 39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus.
- He defended his nephew, Mark, to travel with him even though he had abandoned a previous mission. I have spoken with many leaders who have told me they felt they could not give someone the proper encouragement because that person was a family member. They did not want to appear in any way that they were showing favoritism. Please remember, family members are souls as well! Some people feel they should try to lead by treating everyone the same. I have found that to be extremely difficult because everyone’s needs are different. Your family’s needs will be different than everyone else’s needs. So you will have to encourage them differently. But you must still encourage your family! QUESTION: Who is a family member that you can encourage?
O IS FOR OPPORTUNITIES
- 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
- Have you noticed that Barnabas had the habit of jumping in wherever God was working? He was asked to journey to Antioch to inspect the revival happening in the church. There was no way for Barnabas to anticipate how this small opportunity would blossom. God simply presented an opportunity, and Barnabas jumped in. After Antioch, God called Barnabas and Paul to go on a Missionary Journey. He could have easily resisted saying that he was already busy enough. Instead, he accepted the opportunity, and the Gospel was spread around the world. QUESTION: What is one opportunity that God is challenging you with right now?
P IS FOR PRAYER AND FASTING
- Acts 13:3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
- Barnabas’ actions were led by prayer. We all talk about prayer, but not everyone knows how to pray: My family and I use the following prayer model:
- P.raise – I start by thanking God for my experiences from the previous day.
- R.epentance – I ask God for the forgiveness of sins and the power to overcome these obstacles.
- A.sk – I do this in two steps:
- 1) INTERCESSION – Prayer for others
- 2) SUPPLICATION – Prayer for myself.
- Y.ield – I yield to God’s will in my life. I record my prayers in my journal; This is an excellent strength of encouragement for me to be able to go back and see the marvelous things that God has done.
- QUESTION: Do you have a systematic plan for prayer? What is it?
Q IS FOR QUICK TO OBEY
- John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
- I like to believe that I obey the lessons that God teaches me. The truth is it usually takes me a while. I have had to retake more than one of God’s character-building tests. In the life of Barnabas, it appears that he was quick to obey. Barnabas, go to Antioch and vouch for Paul, “Yes, God.” Sell your land and give to the needy, “Yes, God.” Go with Paul on a two-year missionary journey, “Yes, God.” Put your relationship with Paul on the line and defend John Mark, “Yes, God.” Instead of spending his life learning the lessons the hard way, we find a man who was willing and quick to obey the instructions of God. QUESTION: Which is the hardest part for you, quick or obey?
R IS FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS
- Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
- It appears that looking at the life of Barnabas that he continually did the “right things.” That is the definition of righteousness – right-living, doing right. Simply put, we see in Barnabas, a man that tried to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God? QUESTION: What is your definition of righteousness?
S IS FOR SECOND CHANCE
- Acts 15:37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. 38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
- Barnabas gave Paul his first chance but gave his nephew, John Mark, his second chance. I believe most people love the idea and feeling of giving someone their first chance. It is exhilarating to give someone an opportunity and watch them succeed and flourish. I also realize many of us are not as keen to give people their second chance, or 22nd chance or 222nd chance. Peter asked Jesus in Matthew 18:21, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22. Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” Jesus’ response goes far beyond the human capacity of forgiveness. As leaders, we must give people around us a safe place to land when they make mistakes. John Mark had abandoned Paul on a previous journey, yet Barnabas was adamant of giving him a second chance even though John Mark did not deserve it. QUESTION: Who is someone you can give a second chance?