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“And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus,” (Acts 4:36, NKJV)


Many of us were given, what we call, “nicknames” when we were young. Some of these nicknames have stuck with us even through adulthood. There are some people whose legal names we do not even know because we have called those them/ by their “nicknames” for so long.

This verse lets us know that nicknames are not a new phenomenon. There was a disciple of Christ whose “legal” name was Joses, but was given the “nickname” “Barnabas.” This nickname, unlike those many of us were given, was not given to him because it was cute or catchy, but because of his character. Joses was an encourager. He was one who spoke positively to and about other people. Joses is the person you want by your side when you are going through difficult times. He is a person who edifies others.

1. Based on your character, what would those close to you nickname you?

2. Would you be nicknamed Barnabas? An encourager of others?

3. Are you an encourager of others or are you one who is negative and destructive in your dealings with other people?

4. Do you uplift others and stir them to do greater, be greater, think greater or do you constantly tear people down?

Only those who edify and lift the spirits of others can carry the name Barnabas. Today, the question is, COULD WE CALL YOU “BARNABAS”?

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