Question: What does this list of people have in common? Winston Churchill, Jim Carrey, Katy Perry and Jay-Z
The answer; they were all written off. All had to overcome failure.
Have you ever been written off by someone or your school? The apostle Paul saw John Mark as a quitter, one who wouldn’t follow through on his commitments. Paul, Barnabas and a young man called Mark went on an expedition and Mark went home sometime during this expedition much to the annoyance of Paul.
Barnabas though saw a young man who needed encouragement and it obviously worked. This young man we call John Mark is the writer of the Gospel as recorded by Mark. This episode happened around 50-52 AD and the Gospel of Mark was written somewhere around 64 AD according to most biblical scholars.
You see Mark was indebted not only to Barnabas but to the apostle Peter too who took Mark into his home and like Barnabas gave encouragement and in the next 12-14 years, John Mark from a young man became committed to one that wrote boldly about the life and purpose of Jesus Christ. Left to Paul we may never have seen Mark grow in faith and never had the gospel of Mark.
Even when the great apostle Paul was angry with John Mark and didn’t want him to be part of his ministry team anymore Barnabas chose to stay and encourage John Mark.
What is the difference between Paul and Barnabas?
Encouragement when you blew it
Let us be a Barnabas; an encourager.
The Greek word we translate encourage is from parakaleo and this word in its original form means “to call to one’s side, to comfort, to console, to strengthen.” When we encourage each other we walk beside them which means to share in their life by way of support and strengthening.
Why not do what we can to strengthen instead of tear down?
Encouragement must be spoken not thought upon. It doesn’t do any good just to think good thoughts about a person, we need to communicate with people in order to encourage them. We need to learn to speak words that encourage each other.
Finally, let me give you some facts about Barnabas that I hope encourages you to be like Barnabas.
More facts about Barnabas show up is in Acts 11:22-24;
What are we told about Barnabas in these verses
- He was filled with joy,
- He encouraged believers to stay true to the Lord.
- He was a good man,
- He was full of the Holy Spirit
- He was strong in faith.
- He was a good evangelist as many people were brought to the Lord.
Is he the sort of person you would want in our church? Why?
He encouraged others to help
He rejoiced at the evidence of God’s grace, and sought out Paul, who at that time was living in obscurity in his native Tarsus, to come and join him in the work of teaching and encouraging the new converts. He was not a one-man band, he believed in the team.
He was given the lead as the evangelist leader
After a trip to Jerusalem together in order to take a gift from the local churches for famine relief in Judea, Barnabas and Paul were commissioned by the church at Antioch and sent out on the first pioneering missionary journey to Galatia, calling at Cyprus on the way.
He was Spirit-filled
Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and the sort of person who was able to contribute greatly to the growth and establishment of the early Church. He had many noble characteristics, but no doubt the greatest was his ability to open up to God and allow the Holy Spirit to flow through his life in service to others.
Some commentators claim that much of the credit for Paul’s rapid growth in the things of God must be placed at the feet of Barnabas. It certainly seems that the ministry of encouragement – the ministry in which Barnabas specialised — had a tremendous influence upon the apostle Paul (see again Acts 9:26-29).
After being introduced to the believers in Jerusalem by Barnabas, and almost immediately being driven out of the city by the hostile Jewish religious leaders, Paul spent some ten years of his life back in his native city, Tarsus. We are not told what he did there, but Barnabas did not forget him, and once again gave him an encouraging and inspiring word. As a result of Barnabas’ meeting with Paul, the newly converted disciple worked with him in Antioch for a full year, during which time Barnabas, the “encourager”, no doubt built into Paul’s life a solid foundation which would stand him in good stead when he later took up his calling as the apostle to the Gentiles.
Who has inspired you?
Most of all I hope this week I have encouraged you to be an encourager too, Just think you may encourage someone who has failed and inspired them to carry on and years later you see their success. Wouldn’t that be something?
Remember Winston Churchill, Jim Carrey, Katy Perry and Jay-Z and MARK!!!
BE an encourager!!!!!!!!!
Stay safe and Blessed