In Jerusalem the new church is learning to handle the growing reports of the ‘Lord’s hand at work.’ Word arrives that in Antioch, almost 500 hundred miles away, a new church is being birthed.”
Men, nameless strangers, from Cyprus and Cyrene had gone to Antioch and preached the “Word.” It burst forth in the hearts and minds of people with the light of revelation. In a moment the indisputable evidence of that, “Word,” a word living and effective, turned the unsuspecting listeners into believers. Acts 11:20-21
The disciples thought it prudent to send someone to help this newly born church. New birth requires gentle attention. Antioch did not need an organizer, a builder, a manager, or even a miracle worker; they needed a father, a good man full of the Holy Spirit and faith: Barnabas.
“When he arrived…he encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts… and a great number of people were brought to the Lord." Acts 11:22-24
Barnabas (Son of Encouragement,) gentle and quiet of spirit, nurtured and uplifted them. He grew and sustained the new community by the gift of his encouraging presence.
Today, we too need encouragement, but even more we need to be encouragers.
Does our presence carry a gift that encourages those in our lives to move into a deeper faith and life with Christ Jesus?
“Lord, let Your presence in me be the presence they see.”