Wednesday, October 5 – Acts 11:22-24
The news about them reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch. Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord; for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and faith. And considerable numbers were added to the Lord.
What are some words of encouragement that have made an impact on your life? Even beyond the moment, words of encouragement can make a deep impact that sticks with us and give us the extra boost to carry on. When our focus is on perfection, we forget how encouragement can create lasting change. A child learning how to ride a bike needs encouragement about what they are doing right instead of a constant stream of correction.
The church of Jerusalem valued encouragement so much that they sent Barnabas to be with the church in Antioch and give them a personal exhortation. In our world of getting things done, can we truly say we put the same priority on encouragement? Are our small groups and friendships marked by encouraging one another to stay true to the Lord or only sharing our struggles? As with many things, there is a balance to be found in this area. We can be real about what we are going through, and we can encourage one another in our faith. It is important to know what our brothers and sisters in Christ are going through so we can encourage them along the way. This passage shows us the chain reaction that can take place through encouragement. Encouragement leads to growth and growth leads to multiplication in the body of Christ.
- When was a time you grew because someone encouraged you?
- Who can you encourage in the faith today?
- Pray and ask God to show you opportunities to encourage others in their faith.