Read it! Acts 13
After the reading from the Law and the Prophets,
the synagogue rulers sent word to them, saying,
“Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak.”
Think it through
I like to think of myself as an encourager. Whenever I take a “Spiritual Gift Test,” the gift of encouragement pops up as my secondary gift (the gift of teaching always comes in first!). I’m great at complimenting cute outfits and verbally admiring personal traits… but sometimes I find myself feeling too shy to give the real encouragement that Paul and Barnabus shared so boldly.
What more encouraging words do we have than the Good News of Christ? In Acts 13, Paul encourages his brothers and sisters with the news that God fulfilled His promises—all of our sins are paid for in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Paul’s words are met with such enthusiasm that “almost the entire city” gathered to hear his words on the very next Sabbath! The people were hungry for the encouragement of the Gospel of Christ.
Of course, there were also enough detractors to make Paul shake the dust off his feet as he left the city. Sometimes I feel that I’m bothering or annoying people when I talk about the Lord. When I talk about how God has blessed me, I see shoulders stiffen and smiles start to look tentative.
What I need to remember is that I’m giving them the best, most encouraging words I could possibly give! I’m telling them that they aren’t alone…that there’s purpose and meaning in this life that goes far beyond the empty pursuit of worldly happiness…and that they’re deeply loved.
Live it like you mean it
Do you, like me, sometimes hesitate to “bother” people with your Good News? Do you share the quiet worry that you’ll negatively affect a relationship by truly showing your heart for Jesus? Or worry that the person might judge you?
The real worry is that they won’t hear the Good News from you at all! Whom do you know that needs that encouragement right now? Be God’s instrument to them! Choose one person to encourage this week with the love of Jesus. Make a call, write a card, or take a meal—and include a scripture of encouragement! I know I’ve got someone in mind…
Lift it up
My Jesus, thank You for the love and encouragement that You give me daily through Your word and my brothers and sisters in You. Please help me to share that encouragement with my friend who doesn’t know You…and with anyone You bring into my circle of influence who doesn’t know You. Lord, I love you so. Amen.
Tell Me About It
What are ways you encourage others in the name of Christ? I’d love to hear your ideas!
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