It was in a moment after being shut down by a superior opponent time and time again but continuing to try. My dad gave me life in five words he said about me: “That’s why she’ll be good.” It was also over twenty years ago when I heard my mom tell my dad how beautiful I looked while trying on prom dresses alongside my sister at the mall. Encouragement sticks. More than that, it inspires.
In Acts 11, Barnabas (whose name we know means “son of encouragement”) ”was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts” (Acts 11:23). The result? “… A great number of people were brought to the Lord” (Acts 11:24). That God can grow His kingdom through the power of our encouragement is evidence of the impact held in our words. In this week’s message, we learn that the enemy hinders us from Godly encouragement by distracting our focus in two directions: a past we can’t change and a future that hasn’t arrived. A mindset on things other than the present is anything but aware of the people who need life spoken into their lives. Let’s take hold of the present in the timeline of our lives. Shedding fear and insecurity, offering grace and love freely, we have the power, like Barnabas, to be conduits through which God’s kingdom can grow.
Let’s walk through the moments of today looking for people to encourage.
Father, let us be more like Barnabas, who showed us how to lead others to You through life-giving words.