Acts 4 32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Man, what an amazing environment prevailed in the first church in Jerusalem:
- “All who believed were of one heart and soul.”
- “No one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.”
- “There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.”
In the midst of this, one man stood out, Barnabas. Why? Because he was a “son of encouragement.” Don’t you love to be around encouragers? There is so much discouragement in this world as well as in the New Testament world. It is a blessing and pure edification when someone has the ability to “pull you up” and “not push you down” to enjoy the light and life of Jesus. In fact, Barnabas was such a blessing to other Christians that he was highlighted amongst thousands of people.
Let’s look at the word of discouragement:
- It causes someone to lose confidence, enthusiasm and/or hope.
- It prevents or seeks to prevent something by showing disapproval or creating difficulties.
- It persuades someone against an action.
Contrast this to a word of encouragement:
- It gives support, confidence, or hope to someone.
- It gives support and advice to someone enabling them to move forward.
- It gives help or stimulates a person to grow.
Are you an encourager or discourager? How would the people who know you best characterize you especially your wife and children if you have a family? Be a Barnabas Man. Blessings to you!