By: Darrelyn L. Tutt"And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabus took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus."Acts 9:26-27-----Encourage - To come alongside another and offer a "bolstering" of spirit.-To impose tenderness upon another in a difficult moment.-To lift up, build up, and offer consolation to another.Alienation and isolation were Paul's early experiences in the Christian community. It was Barnabus who first introduced companionship and comfort to the stalwart missionary "mate" and afforded him with special grace and mercy ushering him openly into the fold of sacred and communal fellowship with the saints.Three virtues of Barnabus:Discerning, Encouraging, Wise.------Today's Read: Acts 9; 12:24-25;13; Psalm 67It's difficult to articulate the value of an individual who affords consolation and comfort in a lonely and difficult season of life.Paul's early days, prior to his conversion, were marked and marred by his conduct toward Christians. Indeed, it was Paul who confirmed and consented to the open slaughter and stoning of Stephen, and it was Paul who denied Christians the right of congregating and communing.Paul (earlier named Saul,) was a force to be reckoned with in his early years and he wielded a heralded, supreme "Jewish" authority that garnered negative reviews amongst Christians. Paul was a hell-bent, anti-Christ prior to his conversion.But see what God does with a man when once He inflicts blindness upon him and places His presence inside of him.-See what God does with a man who subjects himself fully to Christ and aligns himself with the mission of spreading and advancing the Gospel.-See what God does with a man whose heart changes and whose mind conforms itself to the truth of the Scripture.And see who He sends "that" man's way.------Mmmm ....Praise be to God for the "Sons of Consolation" named Barnabus.-How many times did Paul secretly and privately thank God for the provision and friendship of a "Barnabus?"-How many times did Paul gratefully witness acceptance from others through the initial support and presence of a "Barnabus?"-How many times did Paul find comfort and assurance from his past, through the loving, open display of kinship with a "Barnabus?"The value and meaning of a Barnabus isn't something that can be penned:It's off-the-charts notable, powerful, and constructive.Note with interest that Barnabus's name "precedes" Paul's name in the initial phase of mission work that would progress to the most dynamic missionary movement the world has ever witnessed.Note also, about Barnabus, that just as he "went to bat" for a Paul, so would he also "go to bat" for a John Mark, and fostering of "that" friendship would induce future possibilities of Gospel furtherance as well.Barnabus was not afraid of risk-taking, and real people ... where he believed the Gospel was involved and truth was being proclaimed.Indeed, Barnabus took the high road and altered his own road considerably by assuming a role of comfort, compassion, and encouraging stability to the most "questionable" of early Gospel figureheads.------We cannot know what inidividuals will bear the title of a "Beloved Barnabus" in our lives but, we can know with a certainty, God will bridge them to us for the purpose of advancing His Gospel at just the right time and in just the right way.And when you've been introduced to one ...You'll never forget your "Barnabus."God's blessing on the "Sons of Consolation."-----"And they called Barnabus, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker."Acts 14:12
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