The following extract is taken from 150 Pocket Thoughts by Richard Bewes. The former Rector of All Souls church, in London, has been called on to minister to people at the heights of their joy and the depths of their despair. From this accumulated wisdom come thoughts that will encourage you in your daily life. Whether used as a daily devotion, or for answers to specific events using the subject index, you will find a insight that increases your understanding of the God of Creation, and your relationship to him.
Joseph....whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement)…. (Acts 4: 36, 37).
Here is one of the key figures in the growth of the early Christian Church. And they nick-named him ‘Mr Encourager’. How so?
- His encouragement of a new Christian convert – none other than Paul. Everyone was scared of this former persecutor – but Barnabas mentored him (Acts 9:26-31). And the church grew.…
- His encouragement of a new expansion. Gentiles were pouring into the church – how alarming! But Barnabas was sent. Result: the new converts were affirmed (Acts 11: 22, 23). And the church grew more….
- His encouragement in the face of new problems. Should new Gentile believers undergo the traditional Jewish initiation procedures? Barnabas was sent, with Peter, to sort it out. ‘No’, came the answer (Acts 15). It was a vital crossroads. Result: the church went on growing….
- His encouragement of a new leader for the church (Acts 15:36-40). There was disagreement over whether to drop John Mark for a mission; he was a past failure. But Barnabas took him on. Result: Mark ends up ‘useful’ to Paul (2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 24). And Mark eventually writes one of our four Gospels!
Do you inspire your fellow-believers? Or do you exhaust them? Be an encourager – and watch the church grow!
About Richard Bewes
Richard Bewes is the author of several beloved books of faith including Talking About Prayer, 150 Pocket Thoughts, and The Goodnight Book. Bewes was the rector of All Souls Church in the centre of London from 1983 until his retirement in 2004. In 2005 he was awarded an OBE for his services to the Church of England
Where to Buy:
150 Pocket Thoughts is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below: