Scripture tells us that Barnabas was a man of encouragement. (Acts 4:36) There possibly has never been a time in either the history of mankind or the church when the gift of encouragement has been more needed. To encourage means “to give courage, hope, or confidence to; to give support to; be favorable to”. As a pastor, I want to exhort you to personally to spend that time alone with the Lord necessary to receive His encouragement for you. In the midst of chaos, David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. Make it a priority to sit at the Lord’s feet to hear His word.
Practicing a life of ‘thanks-living’ is so important, too. We need to fill our hearts and minds with the promises and blessings of God. Thanking Him for being such a gracious, compassionate Father and counting our blessings are far more profitable spiritually than multiplying our wants.
In a materialistic society that is fueled by greed, we need to step back and be content with such things as we have, making our relationships with God, our family, and our fellow Christians the focus of our lives. This godly attitude is of great gain.
As a local church, we need to pray – for each other, for strong marriages and families, our children, those who are single, our church overseers, worship leaders and Sunday School staff – following up our prayers with notes of encouragement or phone calls with a simple, ‘Can I help out?’
Beloved, we are exhorted to be looking out for the needs of others. It is my personal conviction that if we all do our part, we will, by the grace of God, make it through these difficult times. Also, when we transfer our theology to ‘knee-ology’, God will move mightily. We have been so blessed by Jesus! It pleases Him when we make those ‘sacrifices’ of sharing.10
Paul, it is written, spent time strengthening the disciples. It’s wonderful to be a part of a body that is “on the cutting edge”. Make every effort to do a little ‘sharpening’ this week. Seize these golden opportunities to minister. Your
giving, your prayers, your phone calls, and your notes of encouragement do make a difference!
May each one of us find sheer delight in doing the Lord’s will this week by ministering to Him, our families, and each other the love and encouragement of God.