Unstoppable! 'The Encourager Sent to Encourage' — Acts 11:22-24

Sunday, June 30, 2024

When the church at Jerusalem heard what had happened [with the spread of the Good News to both Jews and Gentiles], they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw this evidence of God's blessing, he was filled with joy, and he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord. Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And many people were brought to the Lord.

— Acts 11:22-24 NLT

Key Thought

Wouldn't you love to have known Barnabas personally? We first met in him in Acts 4:36-37, when he sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles to use as they saw fit to bless the poor brothers and sisters in Christ in Jerusalem. His real name was Joseph, but he was nicknamed Barnabas, which means "Son of Encouragement." He lived up to his nickname. When he came to Antioch and saw evidence of God's blessing, he encouraged new believers to remain faithful to Jesus. Because of his character and compassion — clear evidence of the Holy Spirit's presence in his life (Galatians 5:22-23) — many more people were brought to Jesus. Doesn't that make you want to be an encourager? It surely motivates me!

Today's Prayer

Gracious Father in heaven, please be at work in my heart and in my life. I invite you to have the Holy Spirit work on me and in me to fashion me into a better encourager of your people and into your servant with a generous and open heart. Use me to bring other people to Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 4:32-37
  • Acts 13:1-5

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 11:22-24 NLT — When the church at Jerusalem heard what had happened [with the spread of the Good News to both Jews and Gentiles], they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw this evidence of God's blessing, he was filled with joy, and he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord. Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And many people were brought to the Lord.

About This Devotional

Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.

Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.