Focal Passages: Acts 9:26-28; 11:21-26
Difficult days have found us all, wherever we may be. Now, more than ever, the practice of encouraging one another is a necessary discipline. Everyone has been affected in different ways by the virus that has caught the world by surprise.
Scripture provides us with the tools to grow stronger together and to also be a light to the world in the middle of trials.
The first way we can strengthen others is to encourage them to be accepting. Back in Acts 4:36-37, Barnabas is introduced by the meaning of his name, Son of Encouragement.
In chapter 9, we see Barnabas encouraging the apostles to accept Saul as one who had now been transformed by God’s grace.
Because the apostles accepted Paul, he was able to spend time with them speaking in the name of the Lord. We should offer the same type of encouragement to our brothers and sisters in Christ, keeping in mind that God may be doing something huge in the life of someone else.
We also should encourage one another to grow.
When Barnabas visited the Church in Antioch, he was overjoyed at the faith. Staying true to his name, he encouraged them to remain true in their devotion to God.
The third way we can encourage others is to invite them to serve. Barnabas eventually brought Saul back to Antioch so he could teach believers there. Barnabas’ encouragement of Saul was the key to seeing people come to Christ in Antioch!