Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Tuesday, March 26 - Acts Of Encouragement

“Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means ‘son of encouragement’), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.” — Acts 4:36-37

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“Magic” Johnson. “Tiger” Woods. Coach “Prime.” The world of sports is ripe with players known by their nicknames. Sometimes they are a description of the person’s physical traits; other times they describe the person’s character. Often, when nicknames catch on beyond a team, many people cannot even recall the individual’s given name.

This is true of Joseph of Cyprus. He was one of the earliest followers of Jesus and a leader of the early Church. Those who knew him well gave him the nickname “Barnabas,” meaning “son of encouragement.” What was it about Joseph that people began to call him Barnabas? The Bible describes him as a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, who led many people to the Lord (Acts 11:22-24). Barnabas’ life was characterized by his acts of encouragement.

When Saul, later known as Paul, first came to know Christ, Barnabas went to him and encouraged him in his faith. He later vouched for the authenticity of Paul’s conversion and love for Jesus to those Paul formerly persecuted (Acts 9:27). Barnabas served as a peacemaker between disciples at times, giving Mark a second chance (Acts 15:36-39). He trained Paul and Mark to the point that they both became leaders, and he was a faithful supporter.

Our actions speak volumes. Acts of encouragement may not come naturally. Nonetheless, like Barnabas, seeking ways to encourage others through our actions is important and impactful. Consider what you might do to encourage someone today. Then go out and do it!

— Karen Zando, Orlando Pride team chaplain

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