Today’s Scripture Selection: Acts 4:36

“Joseph, a Levite from Cyrus, whom the apostles call Barnabus (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and put it at the apostle’s feet.”

Names are interesting things.

In the scriptures, it’s often noted what certain names mean.

This passage is one example of that.

It’s easy to focus on what Barnabus did that is noted – selling some of his property and putting it to service in the work of the kingdom.

But I like to notice that Joseph’s other name means encouragement.

I think that’s as significant, perhaps even more important, than the fact of his generous activity.

We all need encouragement.  No doubt Barnabus found many opportunities to live up to his name as he went about serving God.

And we can too.

I’m not talking about mere “pep talks” – I mean real, solid, deep, abiding encouragement.  When offered sincerely; especially when offered as a Christian – it can work miracles.

So I encourage you to find someone who needs some encouragement today – and go to work.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the encouragement of your grace and the opportunity to offer it to others.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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