And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
The Book of Acts tells the story of a man called Barnabas, which translates to, “son of encouragement.” Five characteristics of Barnabas’ “gift of encouragement” show us how to be encouragers for others.
• First, encouragers see needs that they can meet and meet them. (See Acts 4:36.)
• Second, encouragers find lonely people and include them. (See Acts 9:26-30.)
• Third, encouragers find a misunderstood person and affirm him or her. (See Acts 11:19-26.)
• Fourth, encouragers develop disciples. Barnabas found buried gifts in new disciples and helped them develop their talents.
• Fifth, encouragers help failures find second chances. (See Acts 15:26-41.)
Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost; it was God in Him. We can all be encouragers like Barnabas. Ask God to fan the Holy Spirit in you to meet needs, befriend lonely people, affirm the misunderstood, develop disciples, and offer second chances.
• Do you consider yourself a natural encourager? Why or why not?
• How might you grow as an encourager based on today’s devotion?
Take time to encourage someone in a specific way this week, whether through a kind word, a written note, or a phone call.