(St. Barnabas the Apostle Day- June 11 shifted)
🎯TOPIC: BE AN ENCOURAGER
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✝️ TEXT:Acts 11:19-30(NKJV)
11:19. Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only.
11:20. But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus.
11:21. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
11:22. Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch.
11:23. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.
11:24. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.
11:25. Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul.
11:26. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
11:27. And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch.
11:28. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.
11:29. Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea.
11:30. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
✝️🗒️STUDY: In our text today, the scattered evangelists at first preached only to the Jews, being discriminatory in their witness (v. 19). Though they had fled to the Gentile areas, they were not willing to preach the Word there. Some men from Cyprus and Cyrene went to Antioch and began to preach the Lord Jesus to the Greeks (v.20). God approved of this mission and their numbers increased as they believed and turned to the Lord(v.21).
Barnabas was sent to visit the church and he encouraged them to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. Barnabas was living true to the meaning of his name, “Son of encouragement.” He was a good man, a kingdom giver, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (v.24); he was faithful and encouraged Apostle Paul in ministry. His work of encouragement brought many more to the Lord (v.24b). Barnabas remains a model today to us as followers of Jesus Christ, who need to be good, faithful and full of the Holy Spirit if we are to bring others to the Lord. In this age where many are discouraged, weary and sore depressed, be a Barnabas. Be an encourager. The joy of the Lord is your strength.
✝️🙏PRAYER: Lord, grant me grace to encourage others even as I receive encouragement in you. Amen.
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