We come back to the series on leadership. Barnabas and Paul were great partners and we have seen in Acts how the gospel spread because they worked so well together. In a couple days, I will move on to others who worked well with Paul.
After the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15), a letter was hand delivered by Barnabas, Paul and Silas, to the believers at Antioch, and they “rejoiced because of the encouragement. And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words” (15:31-32).
It is easy to get consumed with issues of doctrine and practice, and forget that believers, especially those young in the faith, need encouragement as well as teaching. This encouragement was not a passing casual effort on the part of these leaders. “They…spent some time” with them which added to the sincerity of their work and effort at Antioch.
Make sure to encourage, strengthen and build up the body of Christ where you are and where God calls you to minister. Even though Paul had to address some very hard issues with Corinth, he wanted to “use…the authority that the Lord has given [him] for building up and not for tearing down” (2 Corinthians 13:10). Make that a major part of your life and ministry.
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