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In preparation for the National Day of Encouragement that takes place every 12th September, we have teamed up with DaySpring in the #EncouragementDare to dare people everywhere to reach beyond their comfort zones and take action in the #EncouragementDare from September 10th -15th. This week we dare you to go out of your way to encourage those around you!
While it’s no secret that God calls us to encourage one another, sometimes the thought of reaching out in constant support of those around us can seem daunting. That’s why DaySpring, in recognition of the National Day of Encouragement (9/12), is daring people everywhere to reach beyond their comfort zones and take action in the #EncouragementDare.
Barnabas Dared to Encourage
In the days of the early church, there was an unsung hero in the midst of the believers. Although he didn’t get the “media coverage” that Paul, Peter, John and the other apostles and disciples received, the effects of his work are still being felt today. Had this man not encouraged and supported Paul, the Bible we read today may be quite different.
This faithful man’s name was Barnabas, and we meet him in Acts 4:36. As soon as we meet him, we find out that he’s giving up some of his wealth to help others in the early church. That’s a great start!
A couple of chapters go by and we don’t hear too much about him. He springs up again over in Acts 9:27 where he introduces Saul to the apostles. Up to this point, Saul was a Pharisee responsible for hunting and killing Christians… now he’s joining them. Barnabas’ character and reputation bought Saul an opportunity to show the Apostles how he changed.
Barnabas did not give up on others from what can be known about him from scripture. When Saul’s first ministry efforts didn’t go as planned in Acts 9:29-30, Barnabas stuck with him. When John Mark abandoned Paul and Barnabas in Pamphylia (Acts 13:13), Barnabas wanted to bring him along again. He argued with Paul over this sharply, but ultimately stuck to his belief that John Mark needed another chance in Acts 15:36-41.
Earlier in the text of Acts 13, the missionary duo was referred to as “Barnabas and Saul”. Having ministered and worked together in numerous cities, it appeared that Saul was the more influential speaker of the two. By verse 43, they’re referred to as “Paul and Barnabas”.
Looking at this, you may believe that Barnabas is a bit of a pushover, sort of weak and a bit of a sucker for constantly spending time with people who seem to flake out or eclipse his efforts in the ministry… however this was not Barnabas at all. Barnabas knew who he was, and he knew exactly what he was doing. Acts 11:24 (NLT) sets the record straight: “Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And many people were brought to the Lord.” You see, he didn’t need to be front and center… he just wanted to serve God and others the best way he knew how.
A Few Lessons from His Life for Us Today:
- To help others, sometimes it will cost us something… our time, our energy, our money and other resources… To be an encourager, do this with a glad and giving heart.
- We can’t give up on others, especially other believers. Even though life and everything in it doesn’t go our way and others treat us spitefully we must not allow it to bitter us towards others. To be an encourager we must look past that and see the good and potential in others.
- Sometimes we must stand up for others because we know it’s the right thing to do. When the whole world is bearing down on others, sometimes it only takes 1 person to make the difference… To be an encourager, know that you must reach out of the boat to help others in even if it means you might get pulled out and into the storm.
- Finally, when you watch a movie you only see the “stars” on the stage doing what they do best…. entertaining and telling a story. However, it takes much, much more than some acting talent to pull off that work of art. The list of names that rolls by at the end that goes largely ignored are the ones who truly pull it off. To be an encourager, know that even though you aren’t in the spotlight, God knows exactly where your name is in the credits with your position listed as “Good and Faithful Servant”.
Tap into the “Barnabas” that’s inside of you and reach out to encourage others. You never know exactly what they’re facing, but the “little” bit of encouragement you show towards others may sow the seed for the “Paul” of this generation.
Get Your Free Encouragement Kit from DaySpring Inc.
If you’re looking for a way to start encouraging others it’s no further than you finger tips! DaySpring has prepared loads of helpful tools and resources like free Ecards and downloads. It’s called the “encouragement kit” to help you spread encouragement and be a witness of God’s love. Get yours HERE!
Gifts to Help Encourage!
In addition to the #EncouragementDare, DaySpring will be hosting an Encouragement BOGO Sale (now – 9/15) with over 2 dozen of their new, fresh encouraging faith-filled gifts. They’re also offering a Buy-1-Get-1 Free Sale with code SHAREJOY on our Boxed Cards from 9/12 – 9/15.