The Encourager

Pastor Ed Young - Lead Pastor of Fellowship Church
Ed Young

July 22, 2023

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The Encourager

Read:

Acts 4:32-37

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means ‘son of encouragement’), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.”

Think:

Do you remember walking into an unfamiliar place for the first time? Maybe it was middle school, a youth group, or a new job. Someone welcomed you, sat with you, and showed you around. They spoke to you, paid attention to you, and made you feel at ease.

Encouragement can be simple and natural, as with Barnabas. He introduced Saul, known now as Paul, who had once persecuted Christians. But Barnabas knew Paul's story because he had listened. He didn't seek attention for himself. Barnabas wanted Jesus to be glorified. He desired to build God's Kingdom and encourage God's people.

Barnabas lived out his name, which means "Son of Encouragement." He didn't just give encouraging words, but also sacrificially gave of himself and his possessions. After selling some land, he gave all the money to the apostles to help the needy (Acts 4:36-37). Barnabas didn't hoard his wealth, but generously shared with others.

We're all called to encourage one another, to build each other up in love (1 Thessalonians 5:11). But it often requires sacrifice, time, effort, and resources. It's not merely about compliments, but actually helping however we're able to do so.

Apply:

Today, look for someone who seems alone or unsure. Introduce yourself, smile, make eye contact, and start a conversation. You may be the Barnabas they need. And pray for opportunities to encourage others as Barnabas did, through words and actions, because we all need a little encouragement.

Pray:

Jesus, help me to be more like Barnabas, an encourager. Give me love and compassion for others. Show me someone I can encourage today. Speak through me to lift others up. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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