“Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement) …” (Acts 4.36)
Who was Joseph? According to Luke the apostles really appreciated Joseph because they gave him a nickname. Names and especially nicknames give insight into someone’s character; and the apostles gave Joseph the nickname Barnabas—which means son of encouragement. The giving of nicknames was not usual in Scripture. Jesus gave Simon a new name. He said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas, which means Peter” (John 1.42).
Barnabas’ name, however, describes him as a cheerful man. He supported the apostles as they preached Jesus’ death and resurrection. Barnabas motivated the apostles. He fueled them with energy. He was a man that had a zeal for Jesus Christ and that love for Jesus was contagious. Barnabas “…was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith” (Acts 11.24).
THANK YOU, Midway! Many of you have been a Barnabas at this church and this community. YOU are cheerful, encouraging and you have a zeal for the gospel of Jesus Christ!
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15.58).
Choose to be a Barnabas today—in this church and maybe more importantly in your family. Take time to encourage one another. How can you be a Barnabas today and every day? Live in the hope of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yes, we battle our sin and the sin in the world, but we are only travelers passing through. But thanks be to God! “He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…” (1 Peter 1.3-4).
God bless you and your family.
Pastor Mic Knox