Encouraging Messages

The Upper Room devotional reflection for Tuesday, August 16, 2022, comes to us from Wayne Greenawalt of Illinois.

19 Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, and they spoke the word to no one except Jews. 20 But among them were some men of Cyprus and Cyrene who, on coming to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists also, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. 21 The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number became believers and turned to the Lord. 22 News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion; 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were brought to the Lord. 25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for an entire year they met with the church and taught a great many people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called "Christians." 27 At that time prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them named Agabus stood up and predicted by the Spirit that there would be a severe famine over all the world; and this took place during the reign of Claudius. 29 The disciples determined that according to their ability, each would send relief to the believers living in Judea; 30 this they did, sending it to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

Acts 11:19-30 NRSV

 

Encouraging Messages


“Trust in the Lord.” “You are making a difference.” “You can count on my prayer for you today.” These notes and many more were written by Craig – one of my co-workers at a Christian ministry – and left on my desk. Other staff member and the men he mentored received similar encouraging messages. Craig’s ardor in edifying others bring to mind Barnabas, a companion of the Apostle Paul. Barnabas was renowned for his ability to encourage others. When the church at Jerusalem learned that many Gentiles had become believers in Antioch, the commissioned Barnabas to travel there and instruct them in the faith. Barnabas was excited by the vibrancy of their faith and exhorted them all “to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts” (NIV).


His ministry among them was inspirational. Not only did they remain steadfast in the faith; their testimony resulted in many others coming to Christ. The body of Christ needs encouragers. Living for Christ can be hard, and trials and difficulties will come our way. Every Christian needs the support of fellow believers to remain steadfast in the faith. How might God work through us to encourage others to grow in faith?

 

-Friends,

Gospel recording artist, Donald Lawrence, penned a song entitled: “Encourage Yourself.” While it is true that often we have to be our own biggest cheerleader, Wayne’s reflection underscores the impact we can have if we choose to be an encourager of others. The kind word you offer the person at the register at the grocery store, the smile you offer someone walking along the sidewalk, or the hug you give to friend all are acts of encouragement. We often recount the moments we needed encouragement and there was no one to offer it to us. Rather than allowing our negative experiences to skew our perspectives, let us resolve to become one who will encourage others. For as we say frequently: You are a blessing from God! Now go and be a blessing!

--Pastor Anthony

 
Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for the encourager in our lives. Please show us how we can encourage someone today. Amen.

--Wayne Greenawalt


Prayer Focus:

My Co-workers


Thought for the day:

What will I do to encourage someone today?