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Encouragement: The Barnabas Factor
Series: Real Church, Real People, in the Real World
I received a note one time from a guy - I don't even know this guy - but he sent me this note: ''Good morning, Jim. I was so tired when I began the new year that it was some time before I finally got around to read a little book I had had for several months titled, 'Satan Loves Tired People.''' Any of you tired here this morning? Well, maybe you can identify with this. He quoted John Wimber's words in reference to the mind. Wimber said, ''Christian minds are landing fields for demons to parachute hindering thoughts onto.'' The fellow who wrote the note continued: ''My prayer for you is that during this year God will protect you from the hindering thoughts that Satan would like to parachute into your mind. Have a good week and don't forget God does not give to us what we ask for; he always gives us something better.'' That's great encouragement and what a blessing! There's a guy in the Bible who was an encourager, like many of you are. He's not as brilliant as Paul, nor as bold as Peter and yet his running mates gave him a name. Really not his name, for his parents had named him Joseph, but his friends called him Barnabas. The name of Barnabas means ''son of exhortation; son of encouragement.'' So here's a guy who went about encouraging and exhorting people so much that they just changed his name - - to Barnabas. We're going to look at Barnabas because Luke, when he goes through the Book of Acts, drops these people in - major characters - and you'll pick them up all through the Book of Acts. What I want to do is trace this man Barnabas, who is introduced fairly early in the book, and I want you to see how he was an encouragement during his lifetime.
Turn in the Bible to Acts, Chapter 4, verse 32.
32. All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.
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