"When he (Saul) came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus." Acts 9:26-27
Saul of Tarsus was the original Christian killer. His reputation for hating Christians preceded him wherever he traveled. Naturally, those who followed Jesus in those days were leery when Saul expressed an interest in following Christ. However, one young man, Barnabus, was neither afraid nor intimidated by Saul’s reputation. Barnabas was used by God to come alongside this feared man on a number occasions that changed history.
Neither is winning a Heisman Trophy something accomplished without encouragement along the way. And the 1994 winner, Rashaan Salaam, was the first to acknowledge those who encouraged him as he advanced to the top. His college coach, Bill McCartney, kept Rashaan from quitting as an underclassman. His team’s offensive linemen provided him the encouragement to run without reserve. And “my mother, Khalada, has been the most influential person in my life,” Rashaan added.
Through different stages of your life, who has encouraged you the most, and how? Your wife? Co-worker? Parent or Pastor? The encouragers that God has given us provide us the spiritual uplift needed to face the inevitable challenges of life. With the encouragement of others, our hope is renewed and our faith strengthened as we experience seasons of uncertainty.
Who can we encourage? Perhaps we could be a “Barnabus” to a fellow church member who is determined to grow spiritually. Do we have a family member or friend who genuinely struggles with a sinful habit that weighs them down?
May God bless your thoughts and efforts as you consider those who have encouraged you and whom you might encourage.
It Only Takes a Spark
It only takes a spark, to get a fire going
And soon all those around, can warm up it its glowing
That's how it is with God's love, once you've experienced it
It's fresh like spring, you want to sing, you want to pass it on.
I wish for you my friend, this happiness that I've found
You can depend on Him, it matters not where you're bound
I'll shout it from the mountain tops, I want the world to know
The Lord of love has come to me, I want to pass it on
Posted on Wed, March 13, 2013
by Dave Jones