One of the great tragedies of our time is that there are so few kind people around. There are plenty of mean-spirited, hateful people, but there are very few who just take the time to be kind as a lifestyle. Yet, I believe that this is how every child of God ought to be, Eph. 4:32; Eph. 4:2; 1 Cor. 16:14 ! Let’s be honest, many people are opinionated, self-centered, rude and sometimes, just plain mean in our dealings with others. This ought not to be, especially among saved people! I believe that the Lord would have us to practice a ministry of encouragement as we pass through this world. we are introduced to a man named Joses. He is better known by the name Barnabas. When this man appeared on the scene in the early days of the church, he stepped out of obscurity doing good, and when he stepped off the stage a few years later; he exited doing good as well. In fact, the Bible’s record of this man’s life and ministry reveals him as a man who had a heart to do good to all those with whom he came into contact. Today, I would like to take a quick look at the life of Barnabas, and share with you why he earned the name “ Son of Consolation .” By the way, this name is very special. The word for “ consolation ” comes from the same word that is translated “ Comforter”, and which refers to the Holy Ghost, John 14:26 . It refers to one who comes alongside of another to offer help and encouragement. Apparently, Barnabas had earned the reputation among the Disciples of Christ, as one who was a helper and encourager of others.. For these few minutes that we have together, let’s take some time to examine the life of Barnabas and see why he was called “ the Son of Consolation. ” As we do, I want us to examine ourselves and see whether or not we too might be classified as encouragers this evening. I would like to preach for a few minutes on the thought: How To Be An Encourager. YOU MUST LEARN TO REACH OUT 1. Acts 9:26-27 Encourage The Desperate. The glorious conversion of Saul of Tarsus. After Saul was converted, he tried to unite himself with the other disciples who were in Jerusalem, but out of fear and prejudice about his past, they were afraid to allow him into their group. However, Barnabas came to Saul’s side and stood up for Him and told the others about this man’s amazing conversion. He stood up for one who desperately needed a friend. There is still a need for this kind of ministry today! We need to make the effort and take the time to reach out to those around us who seem to be lonely or who have been rejected by others. This is especially true at church. We should do our best to make everyone who comes to this place feel as if they belong here and are accepted just as they are. Every person who darkens these doors should feel like they have returned home after a long absence! We need to love them, welcome them and accept them into our services! Does this describe your life and practice? We ought to find ourselves actively engaged in this kind of activity. Look around you! There are plenty of lonely, outcast people. Find them and be a friend to someone who needs a friend. That is what Jesus did! It is what He expects of us. YOU MUST LEARN TO REACH UP Every encouragers have an upward ministry. His work doesn’t merely reach out to those around him, but it also reaches up as he carries out the work God has given him to do in this life. Encourager Further the Work Of God, encourager uses his spiritual gifts and love for the Lord and the Lord’s people to see that the work of the Lord is carried out in this world. Acts 4:36-37 He Promotes The Work Of God, The first impression we are given of Barnabas is that he is a man who gave of himself freely. He gave of his goods to see that the church and its work went on. He used the things at his disposal to enhance the work of the Lord. This describes how we ought to be as well. We ought to all strive to give of our time, and our talents so that the church can prosper and that the burden of ministry doesn’t rest upon the shoulders of one or two. When we give of ourselves and our time as we should, others are then encouraged to do the same. Beware that you are never guilty of badmouthing the church or the people of God. Just as sure as you do this in front of a lost person, you stand a good chance of condemning their soul to Hell! You might as well be the one who puts them there. If all they hear from you is how bad things are down at the House of God, then why should they want to go and be part of that mess? On the other hand, when we tell the lost how great things are. When we tell them that we have been meeting with the Lord, they will be curious and they will come to see what is going on at church. Determine in your heart that you will be an encourager, one who exalts the work of God.) exhibit joy in trials and thereby be an encourager to those around us! How about you? But, if I know my heart this morning, I know that I really want to be an encourager! Wouldn’t you like for your life to be remembered as that of an encourager? If so, then it will require that you learn to rethink the priorities of your life. God is going to have to come first. Others will have to come second and you will have to come last, if at all. Where is the benefit in that, you may ask? The benefit lies in the truth that when we make the changes necessary to become an encourager, God will be glorified, others will be edified and we will be rewarded when we arrive home in glory.

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