Son of Encouragement

 

I.         The Scriptures tell us of an interesting man

            A.        His name was Joseph and he was from the island of Cyprus, though he was a Jew -- a Levite in particular.

            B.        No one remembers him by his true name, everyone calls him by his nickname.

            C.        “Bar” = Son of, and “Nubas” = Encouragement. Or as we know him, Barnabas

II.        Barnabas was a name, much deserving of his nickname

            A.        We first read of his selling his personal property to aid poor Christians in Jerusalem - Acts 4:36-37

            B.        It was Barnabas who introduced Paul to the Christians in Jerusalem when no one would believe Paul - Acts 9:27

            C.        When word came that people were believing in Christ in Antioch, it was Barnabas who was sent to encourage their growth - Acts 11:20-26. Notice it was Barnabas once again who brought Paul in to preach.

            D.        When God requested two men to be sent out to preach the gospel, it was Paul and Barnabas who were picked to go - Acts 13:2

            E.        When Paul didn’t want to take John Mark on their second trip because John Mark quit on them during the first trip, Barnabas insisted taking him along -- to the point of going separately - Acts 15:37-40

III.       Would people say that of us?

            A.        Are the people you come in contact with day-to-day so uplifted that you could be called the son or daughter of encouragement?

            B.        Rom. 12:3-8 - Not everyone has the same talents. Some people are better at encouraging people than others. Notice it is a gift from God! We may not be excellent at each of these things, but we should be able show capabilities in each.

            C.        Encouragement is one of the duties of preachers - Tit. 2:14-15

            D.        I Thess. 5:9-11 - We should encourage (comfort) and edify each other

            E.        Further, Paul encourages us to encourage the timid and help the weak - I Thess. 5:14

IV.      There are many things in this world that can cause people to be discouraged

            A.        Sometimes things turn out to be harder than we first imagined

                        1.         Num. 21:4 - The Israelites were discouraged by their journey

                                    a.         I can imagine they thought they would just waltz into the promise land

                                    b.         Not only was it hard work, but just getting there was very difficult

                        2.         Nehemiah had this same problem with the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem - Neh. 4:10

                        3.         It doesn’t help when you see other people, who don’t care having an easy time - Ps. 73:2-3

            B.        It is also discouraging when the things we hope for doesn’t come as soon as we would like - Pr. 13:12

            C.        Christians need to counter this discouragement.

                        1.         It is not a one time act, but a daily task - Heb. 3:12-13

                        2.         We need to think how we may encourage each other - Heb. 10:23-25

V.        Conclusion

            A.        I Pet. 3:8 - Live in harmony, be sympathetic, love, be compassionate.