When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, many believers did not trust him because they feared him. However, Barnabas brought Saul to the apostles after hearing his testimony. After Barnabas presented Saul to the apostles, Saul was accepted and started speaking boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, moving freely in Jerusalem. Saul talked and reasoned with the Hellenistic Jews, these are Jews with a Greek background, and they tried to kill him. The other disciples learned of the situation that they sent Saul down to Caesarea and then to Tarsus, where Saul was originally from. The church continued to grow throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, enjoying peace, being built up and going on in the fear or reverence of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit, and the church continued to grow. (Acts 9:26-31).
The believers accepted and trusted Paul because Barnabas took a chance to know Saul. Barnabas could have been arrested and imprisoned if Saul had turned himself into a spy. Saul's conversion to Christianity was very sudden. So it is understandable that the believers were very skeptical about it. However, Barnabas, which means son of encouragement, took Saul in and spent time listening to his story. When no one else wanted to accept Saul, Barnabas did. We all need Barnabas in our lives. We all need acceptance and encouragement from others, especially when no one else believes us. Barnabas probably didn't even know that the person he encouraged became an apostle who would preach the gospel to Asia and Rome.
Let us be thankful for all those who accepted and encouraged us along the way. And we need to be an encourager to others too, and this is how we share the love of Christ with others. Encouragement can affect and change lives. We will never know how we can affect and change someone's life through our encouragement. Let us be an encourager today.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through carefully and meditate on the questions while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speak to you) What does it mean to be an encourager? Am I willing to encourage someone? Who can I encourage today?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you for those you sent to encourage me along the way. You know that I get discouraged sometimes, and I am thankful for encouraging me through others. Would you also use my life to encourage others? I pray you will use my life as a channel of your love through encouragement. In Your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.