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Synopsis of Mr. Encouragement……. -Barnabas
Good and joyful morning to all Christian brothers and sisters on this the day that the lord has made. Pull up your favorite chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee, or tea, or milk, or whatever is your favorite… we are about to slice a piece of the bread of life…. The word of God.
Recently I read about monks being cloistered in a monastery spending all their time trying to determine the meaning of life. I almost tried to e-mail them. I have the meaning of life right here It is a part of the creation that got left out of the bible.
Now…. don’t cut me off….. this is just a funny story….
It seems that on the first day God created the cow; and said to the cow…. You must go to the field and work in the heat all day to support the farmer. You must have calves, and give milk. I’ll give you a sixty year life span.
The cow said… That’s kind of tough. Sixty years at is a long time can I give back forty to you. God agreed.
On the second day God created the dog. And said…. Sit all day by the door and bark at anyone that comes by. I’ll give you a life span of twenty years.
The dog said ….. That’s too much barking can I give you back ten years. God agreed …. again.
On the third day God created the monkey, and said …. Entertain people, do monkey tricks, make them laugh. You’ll have a twenty year life span. The monkey said….. How boring. Dog gave you back ten years, so that’s what I’d like to do. And again…… God agreed.
On the fourth day God created man. He said to man….. Eat, sleep, play, do nothing, enjoy life. I’ll give you twenty years. Man said……….. What? Only twenty years…. No way How about…. I’ll take my twenty, and the forty cow gave back, And ten the dog gave back, and ten the monkey gave back. And that will make eighty. God said….. O.K….. O.K.
And, folks, that is why….The first twenty years of our life we eat, sleep, play, do nothing and enjoy life. The next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family. The next ten we do monkey tricks to entertain our grandkids.And the last ten we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone that comes by. NOW…… life has now been explained.
Put up with me folks, love me anyhow…… RememberThe mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground.
O.K., O.K. It’s time to hear from the Lord. Today I’d like to begin a series of messages on encouragement.For today’s message we’ll study Mr. Encouragement….. Barnabus.
In the following weeks I’d like to discuss *** encouraging your spouse and children, *** encouraging yourself, and *** how not to encourage.
Ever notice when someone great tells his life story there is always someone that encouraged them in their hours of discouragement. They would have quit were not that someone said to them, “I believe in you “
Act 4:34-37 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated son of encouragement), a Levite of the country of ** Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostle’s feet. ** This says he was a rich man as Cyprus land was valuable
Let’s read of the converted Saul, later called Paul.
Act 9:22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ. Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him. But their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him. Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket. And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. When nobody wanted anything to do with Saul, but, Barnabas saw potential in him.
Have you encouraged someone lately ? Including those who’s action you admire? Including those others who’s action you do not admire ! Encouragers are men and women who care more about people than they do about programs, profit, authority
Act 11:19-24 Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only. But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Bellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the lord. 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.
He did not hit them across the head with his bible.
He did not condemn their every sinful action.
He did not discuss their faults.
He did not cringe at their lifestyle or beliefs……..
He did not yell at them that they were going to hell
He encouraged them ! !
Act 11:25-27 Then Barnabas departed for tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people
Barnabas did not:: • hog the show………..• seek the prestige………..• help his ministry
He shared this revival with others to the benefit of the converts.
Chapters 1 through 13 of acts speaks of “Barnabas and Saul”, as Barnabas was the mentor or teacher of Paul. Even the holy spirit refers to “Barnabas and Saul”
Barnabas did not care about position, structure, compliments ………..he was intent on being an encourager. We do not need a title, we do not need a classroom, we do not need a stamp of approval, we do not need a degree in the subject of encouragement to be an encourager. Being an encourager might be called “friend therapy.” That is people who come along side of you when you are in difficult times. I’m not talking about giving pep talks and giving folks the warm fuzzies.
Have you ever been hot in the summer time and sat under a shade tree with a cold glass of lemonade………. That’s refreshment, right ? When is the last time you’ve been refreshment to someone ? And I don’t mean with a glass of lemonade ! Being an encourager requires intentionality. It doesn’t come naturally.
We are all called to be encouragers…. to build each other up.
Heb. 3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that non of you may be hardened by sins’ deceitfulness.
Ever hear the story about “that’s not my job?”
It is a story about four people named”
• everybody • somebody • anybody and • nobody
There was an important job to be done and everybody was sure that somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was everybody’s job. Everybody thought anybody could do it, but nobody realized that everybody would not do it. It ended up that everybody blamed somebody when nobody did what anybody could have.
Help us o Lord,
• to laugh with others • to weep with others, •to see potential in others………. but mostly to encourage others.
I’ve read somewhere that there is a street in London named Godliman ( g o d I l m a n ) because there was a man that lived on that street that was saintly that everyone just referred to that street as “that godly man’s street” …. And when he died the city actually named it Godliman street. Oh, church, that our lives would so reflect Jesus that we would leave a mark on our neighbors, and the memory of our godliness would linger on.
Brother dick, how do we become an encourager? Glad you asked!
Try some of these suggestions to begin to reach out to others:
• make a list of people you know. Study the list to become aware of their needs.
• spend just a moment placing yourself in their shoes.
• ask yourself, “what can I do today that would encourage any one of them?”
• express your feelings to or toward that person. Write a note, make a call, arrange a visit. Remember…. Feelings do not have to provide answers to problems. Feelings just says that you are thinking about someone.
• pray for that person. Bring your care about them to God.
• keep noticing what is going on in that person’s life
• do not become discouraged. Bring only encouragement to them.
Encouragement is not doing for someone what they can do for themselves. It is not removing pain from their lives.
It is noticing them……. Feeling with them…. Reminding them of the hope they have in Jesus Christ as you persevere with them.
And……….. Yes……….. Another story……….
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