When my Grandfather died he was buried with a New Testament in his hand. He wanted everyone to know that he was a man of the Word. Have you ever wondered how you will be remembered? I would especially life to be remembered as and encourager.
Other than Jesus, Barnabas is the biblical character I would most like to be like. His real name was Joses but the Apostles gave him the nickname “Son of encouragement.” Every time his name is mentioned in the Bible he is encouraging someone. He made personal sacrifices to give to others when they were in need. He traveled long distances to restore people others had written off.
Paul was in the desert and Barnabas got him and introduced him to a growing church in Antioch. Paul then became one of the greatest leaders in Christendom. Later when Paul himself did not consider John Mark a good risk, Barnabas traveled with him until Paul saw his usefulness again. Barnabas was the natural choice when others needed someone to travel with a gift of encouragement. He brought joy and encouragement like warm sunshine wherever he went.
Wherever you go every day there are people in need of encouragement. You never have to look far to find someone in need of a warm smile or a hopeful word. Just a thoughtful word, a warm smile, a listening ear could inspire them to go on.
In the Book of Acts it says of Barnabas “…when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith…” I would consider my life well-spent if the same thing could be said about me some day. When I reach the end of my days I hope the consensus opinion of those who knew me best is that I was an encourager.
Kenneth L. Pierpont
The Riverfront Character Inn
March 3, 2003