Are you familiar with Barnabas? We first meet him in Acts 4:36 where we learn his name means “Son of Encouragement.” He lived up to that name. We see him again in Acts 11 going to a new group of Christians in Antioch. Verse 23 says, he “exhorted (encouraged) them all that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.” He then sought out a new convert named Saul and got him involved in ministry. Later on, when he and Saul, now called Paul begin their first missionary journey, he brings along his nephew, John Mark.
The young man became “fainthearted” and went home. Paul was through with him but Barnabas went back to him. Barnabas comforted John Mark. He encouraged him to persevere through this failure. Later, Paul even changed his mind. Read today’s verse to see Paul’s change of heart.
There are many “John Mark’s” in the church. There are many “fainthearted” and fearful believers. We’ve all been that way at one time or another.
I could recount many times when I was fearful and worried and another Christian, like Barnabas gave me “comfort” and encouragement. Even when I had little strength and weak faith, I drew on the strength and faith of others.
How do you love the church? Look around. Do you see a brother or sister who needs a little “comfort?” Give it. Be a Barnabas. Edify him. Build her up in the Lord. As you strengthen one believer you strengthen the whole church because a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.