Our Daily Bread 2nd July 2020 Devotional – Talking Bananas
TODAY’S TOPIC: TALKING BANANAS
Bible In A Year: Job 22–24; Acts 11
Key Verse: [Barnabas] encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. – Acts 11:23
Today’s Scripture: Acts 11:19–26 (NIV)
The Church in Antioch
19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews.
20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus.
21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.
22 News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.
23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.
24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.
25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.
Insight: Our Daily Bread 2nd July 2020 Devotional
Barnabas, whose real name was Joses (or Joseph), was a wealthy Levite from the island of Cyprus (Acts 4:36–37). Barnabas lived up to his name, which means “Son of Encouragement.” It was through him that Saul (Paul) was accepted and trusted by the Jerusalem Christians (Acts 9:26–30), thereby opening up Paul’s extensive preaching ministry. In today’s passage, Barnabas was sent to Antioch to encourage the gentile believers (v. 22).
He then encouraged Paul to come teach these new believers. It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians (v. 26). Barnabas also encouraged John Mark, a young man deemed a failure by Paul (Acts 13:13; 15:36–39), and played a critical role in restoring him to effective ministry (Colossians 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:11).
Message: Our Daily Bread 2nd July 2020 Devotional
Never give up. Be the reason someone smiles. You’re amazing. It isn’t where you came from—it’s where you’re going that counts. Some schoolchildren in Virginia Beach, Virginia, found these messages and more written on bananas in their lunchroom. Cafeteria manager Stacey Truman took the time to write the encouraging notes on the fruit, which the kids dubbed “talking bananas.”
This caring outreach reminds me of Barnabas’ heart for the “spiritual youngsters” in the ancient city of Antioch (Acts 11:22–24). Barnabas was famous for his ability to inspire people. Known as a good man, full of faith and the Holy Spirit, he prompted the new believers to “remain true to the Lord with all their hearts” (v. 23). I imagine he spent time with those he wanted to help, saying things like: Keep praying. Trust the Lord. Stay close to God when life is hard.
New believers, like children, need loads of encouragement. They’re full of potential. They’re discovering what they’re good at. They may not fully realize what God wants to do in and through them, and often the enemy works overtime to prevent their faith from flourishing.
Those of us who’ve walked with Jesus for a while understand how hard living for Jesus can be. May all of us be able to give and receive encouragement as God’s Spirit guides us and reminds us of spiritual truth. By: Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Reflect: How has God encouraged you in the past? How might God want to work through you to inspire someone?
Today’s Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me someone to encourage today. Show me what to say and how to meet this person’s needs so that You’ll be glorified.
Thanks for reading Today’s Our Daily Bread 2nd July 2020 Devotional – Talking Bananas. Please share this with other people.