Focal passage: Acts 4:36-37; 9:26-27; 11:19-26
Everyone loves to be around encouraging people. I love to be around these people too. I remember a teacher in high school that said writing thank you letters is one of the most encouraging things a person can do.
Honestly, I thought she was crazy when she said this. After all, we live in a world of technology. We send emails now, not handwritten letters.
My attitude changed when I received my first handwritten letter. The author said they were praying for me, and if I needed anything to let them know. It was something so simple, yet it had a great impact on me.
The majority of handwritten letters I receive today come from senior adults. They don’t need anything fancy to encourage me, just a pen and paper. They simply use what they have to do what they can.
The same can be said of Barnabas, because in Acts 4, he sold a field and gave the money to the apostles. He used what he had to help build up the church.
We too can do what we can with what God has gifted us with to build His Kingdom. In Acts 9:26-27 Saul came into Jerusalem, and the disciples were afraid. Let me add: I would be too. But Barnabas steps in and speaks up for Saul. We too should encourage others by standing with them and becoming their advocate.
In Acts 11 we see the church in Antioch start to grow. We see the apostles send none other than Barnabas to them. And the passage says he was encouraged and taught them. Both Saul and Barnabas spent a year with the church in Antioch. The best way we can encourage others, like Barnabas, is by helping them grow spiritually.
Christ-centered living chooses encouragement, not criticism. We must strive to be like Barnabas and use what God has given us to build His Kingdom. We can stand up and be an advocate for others. We can also help fellow brothers and sisters grow in Christ. Let us be an ongoing encouragement to others.