GET TOGETHER – ENCOURAGEMENT IS NOURISHMENT
Ac 11:22-24 Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.
We live in a time where we hear a lot of things that are very troubling. To say that there are not many things going on in the culture here and throughout the world that trouble me I would not be honest. If I didn’t say that this past year has been very hard as we have seen people that in appearance to us looked very healthy leave this walk of life from the Covid virus I would not be truthful.
We see and hear about things in our culture here at home in our own country that are opposed to scripture being celebrated. Persecution is going on in the church throughout the world. In various places in Africa Christians are being murdered for their faith. In China, North Korea, Iran, and several other places Christians face imprisonment and separation from their families for being faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
When we look at the early church it was not the cool thing to be a Christian. Those early believers faced persecution from their fellow Jews and lived under Roman oppression. When persecution came the early church was scattered. When persecution came the church began to grow.
No matter whether it is persecution, famine, pandemics, or even when things are going great, we all need encouragement. One of my favorite people in the Bible is Barnabas. His name means son of encouragement. Barnabas would be used in the early ministry of the Apostle Paul. He helped the early church to know that Paul a former persecutor of the church was the real deal and that he had truly become a faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today we need to encourage one another in the faith. As I remember a mentor of mine saying one night when he was ministering at our congregation “the devil will try to discourage you enough we need to encourage one another.”
In the above passage there are several things that the scripture says about Barnabas. The scripture says that he was glad. Can you imagine what an effect that had on those early believers to see a man of God that was glad in such a season as they were in. Perhaps we can let a lost world see that we are glad. That we have a peace and joy that as the old song goes “the world didn’t give it and the world can’t take it away.”
He encouraged them to continue in the Lord. Many times, when some we face some hard times the enemy will tempt us to give up on God. Just remember that He doesn’t give up on us, so don’t give up on Him!
He was a good man. We know that being good doesn’t get us to Heaven. On the other hand, we know that we are called to be salt and light in a dark world. We are also called to do good to others. The Apostle Paul said it like this in Ga 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (NKJV) Jesus said it like this in Mt 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (NKJV) Doing good to others is a very effective way to bring encouragement to those who are having a hard time and discouraged during this season that we are living in.
Barnabas was filled with the Holy Spirit. I don’t think that there has ever been a greater time than now for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If you have been filled once, twice, or numerous times ask Him to fill you again and again. We drink from that fountain that never runs dry.
He was full of faith. We are told in Ro 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.(NKJV) If you want your faith built up and to be able to encourage others get in the word of God. I am listening and watching a whole lot less of the news. The word of God HNN (Heavens News Network) will help us to be encouragers to others.
We then see as the church was encouraged that a lot of people were added to the Lord. So today be an instrument of encouragement and nourishment to those who are living in a dry and thirsty land. I believe that if we spent more time getting the lost saved that the Lord would save the nation. In order to do this it will take encouragement that brings nourishment so that we can continue in the Lord and be used to bring others into the Kingdom.
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus it wasn’t easy for you here on the earth. It wasn’t easy for the early church. Today we pray that we will be encouragers to one another. we pray that we will encourage those who are faithfully serving You. We pray that we will encourage those that have suffered loss this year. Help us as to speak words that are spirit and are life. Help us to give encouragement that brings nourishment to all of those who are hurting, and discouraged.
In Jesus Name
Love you all !
Be Encouraged !!!!!