The believers in Jerusalem were in a difficult situation. When Paul came to town, they were afraid of him. How could Paul make the apostles understand he was now one of them and not there to harm them? He had changed from the inside out.
Barnabas, having seen and heard Paul’s love for the Lord in Damascus, encouraged both the apostles and Paul with his testimony of God at work in Paul’s life.
Paul’s change of heart made his preaching even more amazing. Many people were talking about Paul’s teaching. The Jewish religious leaders in Damascus did not like this at all. They did not want people to follow Jesus. They planned to kill Paul, so Paul had to leave Damascus and go to Tarsus.
Because of Barnabas’ encouragement in speaking truth, the other believers accepted Paul. Paul spoke even more boldly, and the church grew in number.
How would our church be different if we encouraged one another to pursue our circles of influence and speak in love and boldness when it came to the story of Christ? How would it change our community?
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