by Doug Pierce
Published on November 17, 2022
Categories: Inspiration


By Doug Pierce

 “But exhort one  another daily, while it is called today;  lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:13


The Bible tells us about a man in the early church who was mightily used of God. His name was Joseph. He was a great guy, full of love and life. Everyone enjoyed being around him. There was just something about Joseph that made you feel good inside and filled your heart with hope that God was able, no matter how bleak your situation might be. Everyone who knew him or hung out with him noticed how encouraging Joseph was to them. It seems that several people got together one day and gave him the nickname “Barnabas”, which means, “Son of Encouragement” (see Acts 4:36).

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a name change like that— and be one who lived up to the name ENCOURAGER? I know some people who are just the opposite…so do you.  They’re very discouraging to be around. I’ve known a few people over the years that can brighten up a room by simply leaving it! Like you, I don’t want to have that kind of reputation! I don’t want people to dread seeing me come around. On the other hand, we each know how wonderful it is to be encouraged by others. Aren’t you thankful for those who’ve encouraged you in your faith in the past? What a blessing others have been to me! I want to do the same for others in my life! I want to be like Barnabas…an encourager! Don’t you? Can I let you in on a little secret… you can be a Barnabas too. How?


The Bible reminds us there’s nothing ever too difficult for the Lord (Gen. 18:14). The greater the problem is, the greater the miracle. When Lazarus was gravely ill, Jesus sent this encouraging word to the family, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God.” By the time His word arrived, Lazarus had died. But Jesus performed one of his greatest miracles in raising Lazarus from the tomb. The lesson here: God can do anything in your life and others, even raise the dead!


No doubt Barnabas did not see people as they were, but as they could be if they trusted God and walked by faith. You see, Barnabas was the one who saw what John Mark could be. While Paul wrote John Mark off for deserting the team on their first missionary journey (Acts 15:36-40), Barnabas did not. He saw the potential in John Mark, took him under his wing and helped him become a mighty force for God. John Mark went on to do great things for God and others— including being inspired of God’s Spirit to write one of the books in our New Testament that bares his name, the Gospel of Mark. Barnabas was decidedly Christ like in how he saw others. When Simon first started out following the Lord, Jesus gave him a new name. Jesus called him Peter. The name his parents gave him at birth was Simon, but when he began following Christ, the Lord gave him the name Peter. His first name, Simon, means “unstable”. The name Jesus gave him, Peter, means “a rock”. Jesus, in essence, was saying to him, “Simon you’re unstable as water right now, but if you’ll continue following me, I will make you and your character as solid as a rock! You’re going to be someone that I, and many others, can depend upon!” The lesson here: See people through the eyes of faith. Believe in them and build them up so that they can start seeing what they can be. Never doubt that God can change anyone, no matter how big of a mess they’ve made of their lives!


Encouragement does not cost you anything but a little time. It is amazing how a card, a note, a text, an email, or a kind word of encouragement can make someone’s day. Why not make it a daily priority to compliment, praise and encourage the people around you—especially your own family members? They need it the most. I want to challenge you to BE A BARNABAS today and every day! Set your own daily goal. Ask the Lord to help you encourage a set number of people every day, starting right now! I try to encourage at least 10 people every day! During these disheartening days we live in, scores of people all around us need an encouraging word! I’ve found that God encourages and strengthens my own heart when I obey Him and put into practice encouraging others. Remember our verse and “ . . . exhort one another daily . . .” Who will you encourage today?

Think it over…

Doug Pierce is a Church planter and a pastor. In 2003 he started, and continues to pastor First Independent Methodist Church in Madison, Mississippi. His #1 priority is to glorify God in all aspects of ministry. He does this through teaching his congregation to Love God, Love One Another, and Love Others to God. Prayer, outreach, and church growth through evangelism are vital parts of his ministry. He and his wife Suzanne live in Madison, Mississippi where they also enjoy their children and grandchildren. To find out more about Doug‘s ministry visit the FIMC Website

Feature Photo by Marcus Dall Col on Unsplash


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