Barnabas Bible Study on Encouragement

Barnabas Program graphic with tag lineThe character of Barnabas from the Book of Acts is synonymous with the idea of encouragement in Christianity.  This man encouraged the work of the early disciples at the very start of their ministry to spread the Good News about Jesus throughout Jerusalem and Judea.  Barnabas was a critical supporter of Paul in his work of spreading that message all throughout the Roman Empire.

Within our communities of faith and followership of Jesus, we want to create active networks of support and encouragement among the members of the Body of Christ – a network of support that is woven through with regular intercession for, and consistent encouragement of, each other.

To begin to discover some practical ways to do that for each other, let’s take a closer look at the Bible passages about Barnabas and learn together why he was nick-named “Son of Encouragement”:

Barnabas Bible Study on Encouragement

St BarnabasActs 4:32-37

  • First, summarize these verses in your own words.
  • Now, based on these verses, who was Barnabas?
  • What did Barnabas do in these verses?
  • Why, from these verses, do you think he was nick-named “Son of Encouragement”?

Acts 9:19b-28

  • First, summarize these verses in your own words.
  • Based on these verses, who was Barnabas?
  • What did Barnabas do in these verses?
  • Why, from these verses, do you think he was nick-named “Son of Encouragement”?

Acts 13:42-48

  • First, summarize these verses in your own words.
  • Now, based on these verses, who was Barnabas?
  • What did Barnabas do in these verses?
  • Why, from these verses, do you think he was nick-named “Son of Encouragement”?

Acts 15:1-4

  • First, summarize these verses in your own words.
  • Now, based on these verses, who was Barnabas?
  • What did Barnabas do in these verses?
  • Why, from these verses, do you think he was nick-named “Son of Encouragement”?

Acts 15:36-41

  • First, summarize these verses in your own words.
  • Now, based on these verses, who was Barnabas?
  • What did Barnabas do in these verses?
  • Why, from these verses, do you think he was nick-named “Son of Encouragement”?

Here are some more Scriptures about Barnabas, for further study: Acts 12:25-13:12; 13:49-52; 14:1-7, 8-20, 21-28; 15:5-35.

Nothing compares to the depth and richness of authentic Christ-centered community.  Those who have experienced it know its unmatched value.  They also know that it does not come without loyal, mutual investments of time, energy, and emotion among its participants.

We should expect real, deep, meaningful community as followers of Jesus together!  But we should NOT expect that it will just be served up to us without effort.  It takes hard work.  It takes time.  It takes pushing through uncomfortable barriers – both the real barriers and the imaginary barriers – that can exist between people.

Authentic community doesn’t occur accidentally.  Building and maintaining it is a manual process that must be entered into deliberately.  It takes significant investment, but the dividends it pays are priceless!

encouraging notesBy looking at the life of Barnabas in the Book of Acts, I hope you have begun to discover some ways that you can be an encourager of the Body of Christ.  Why not start by simply praying for 8-10 members of your Church, by name, once each week.  And then, once per month, send each of them a simple-yet-meaningful form of encouragement: a hand-written note, or an encouraging email or facebook message, just letting them know they are in your thoughts and prayers…

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