Then Barnabas went on to Tarsus to look for Saul. When he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. Both of them stayed there with the church for a full year, teaching large crowds of people. (It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians.)
— Acts 11:25-26 NLT
The church in Jerusalem had sent Barnabas, a trusted and encouraging brother in Christ, to see how things were going in Antioch. He affirmed the people who were responding to the good things that God was doing in Antioch. The church grew, and many more became followers of Jesus through Barnabas' efforts. He soon needed help, so he went to Tarsus to find Saul (later known as Paul). Saul* had once persecuted the church but had become a passionate follower of Christ Jesus. His training as a rabbi gave him an excellent background for his call from God to reach Gentiles. As a gifted encourager, Barnabas made sure that Saul was reclaimed from obscurity and brought back to the front lines of spreading the Good News. Together, they made an excellent mission team, and the world has never been the same!
Dear Father, please use me to help reclaim and encourage those who have been discouraged, whether by wounds they have received from brothers and sisters in Christ or ridicule from unbelievers. Please give me wisdom, strength, tenderness, and patience as I seek to reawaken them to the gifts you have given them and the grace Jesus has for them. I pray this in the name of Christ Jesus, my Lord. Amen.