THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4
News about them reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to travel as far as Antioch. When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged all of them to remain true to the Lord with devoted hearts, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And large numbers of people were added to the Lord.
Acts 11:22-23 (CSB)
WE ENCOURAGE WITH OUR PRESENCE
An example of a modern “Barnabas” was Dr. Henrietta Mears. She was born in 1890 in Fargo, North Dakota, and when the doctors told her that her worsening eyesight would make her blind by 30, she didn’t listen to them, and instead went to college. A couple of years into college, she fell in love with a man who did not share her faith in Christ. She wanted to be married and have children, but ended up breaking her engagement when she surrendered her desires to serve the Lord. She taught high school chemistry for a few years, and then in 1928 became Director of Christian Education at Hollywood Presbyterian Church. In her first three years, Sunday School attendance went from 400 to 4,000. She took over teaching the College group and began training and discipling Christian leaders. Through her direct influence, more than 400 young men and women went into full-time Christian service, including Bill Bright (Campus Crusade for Christ), Richard Halverson (former Chaplain to the Senate), and Dr. Paul Carlson (martyred missionary in Africa). She founded the Gospel Light Curriculum company to publish her Bible Studies, and started a retreat center in the mountains, Forest Home. It was Henrietta Mears who helped a young Billy Graham at a Forest Home retreat. At a crisis point in his faith, she encouraged him to trust in the Lord and believe in the Bible. (Precept Austin)
The Jews did not send just any man to check on the church in Antioch but a man nicknamed “Son of Encouragement.” Barnabas arrived and “saw the evidence of the grace of God.” John MacArthur writes, “The grace of God may be invisible, but its effects are readily seen.” Barnabas encouraged the believers to remain faithful to the ministry they were doing and even more people came to know Christ.
The most encouraging thing you can do is direct people to God. Does your presence encourage people to walk closer with God or does it pull them away from God?
Thank God for your spiritual growth. Thank Him for showing you areas where you still need to grow. Ask Him to show you where he wants you to minister to others.