Acts 4:32-37 (nlt) All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. 33 The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. 34 There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell the 35 and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need. 36 For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. 37 He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles.
One of the great tragedies of our time, is there are so few people who are kind and think of encouraging others!
There are plenty of mean-spirited, hateful people, but there are very few who just take the time to be KIND as a lifestyle.
Yet, I believe that this is how every child of God ought to be…we’re going to unpack the topic of “How To Be An Encourager!”
Let’s be honest, many people are opinionated, self-centered, rude and sometimes, just plain mean in our dealings with others. This ought not to be, especially for believers!
Ephes. 4:32 (NLT) Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Ephes. 4:2 (NLT) Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
1 Cor. 16:14 (NLT) And do everything with love.
I believe that the Lord would have us to practice a ministry of encouragement as we pass through this life.
I. YOU MUST LEARN TO REACH OUT
A. Encourage those who desperately need a friend.
Zig Ziglar – “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”
John Maxwell – “Everyone has the potential to become an encourager. You don’t have to be rich. You don’t have to be a genius. You don’t have to have it all together. All you have to do is care about people.”
Acts 9:26-27 (nlt) When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer. 27 Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus.
B. Encourage other believers.
Acts 11:22-23 (nlt) When the church at Jerusalem heard what had happened, they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw this evidence of God’s blessing, he was filled with joy, and he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord.
Rom. 14:19 (nlt) So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.
1 Thes. 5:11 (nlt) So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
C. Encourage the discouraged
Acts 15:36-40 (nlt) After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” 37 Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. 38 But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. 39 Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus. 40 Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care.
II. YOU MUST LEARN TO REACH UP
The encourager has an upward ministry.
His work doesn’t merely reach out to those around him, but it also reaches up as he “carries out the work God has given him to do” in this life.
A. The encourager promotes the work of God.
Acts 4:36-37 (nlt)
For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. 37 He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles.
The first impression we are given of Barnabas is that he is a man who gave of himself freely.
B. The encourager praises the work of God
Acts 11:23-26 (nlt) When he arrived and saw this evidence of God’s blessing, he was filled with joy, and he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord. 24 Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And many people were brought to the Lord. 25 Then Barnabas went on to Tarsus to look for Saul. 26 When he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. Both of them stayed there with the church for a full year, teaching large crowds of people. (It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians.)
Barnabas refused to keep the good blessings of God quiet! We should do the same!
Would you like to be remembered as an encourager?