Midweek Wake-Up, August 16 2017
Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment”. On Sunday we heard about Barnabas, the man who exhorted and encouraged both, Saul and Mark. While the rest of the church was afraid to take Saul into their midst, Barnabas took a chance encouraging and exhorting the church to enter into fellowship with this new convert Saul, who later would become Paul. A man it seems who lived for a long while on the encouragement and exhortation of Barnabas. Then when Paul had some issues with Mark deserting them in the ministry, again Barnabas steps in, speaking words of life, that Mark rode into future ministry. Words of life spoken about the work of God in these men’s lives, words that spoke to the glory of God. Encouraging, exhorting, affirming words.
As we heard on Sunday, the Bible is full of praise and affirmation about individuals, throughout the entire book. Words that always come back to what God has done, how He’s wired and made individuals, and the work He’s doing in their lives. As creation speaks to the glory and majesty of God, so too does His work in the creating and transforming lives of individuals.
So what are we called to do? Paul tells us in Romans 12 to use the gift of exhorting and encouraging to spur on the church. As we said on Sunday, there are many facets to this, but one thing cannot be denied. The call to affirm and exhort and encourage is Scriptural. And if we’re called to do it, we have to ask if it could be sinning to not do it, as James 4:17 warns us.
So this morning NSC, I leave you with the same question I left you with on Sunday. To who could you be a Barnabas this week? To speak the affirming words of what God is doing in someone’s life, exhorting them to carry on in what God is doing. May we be a church full of the exhorting, encouraging words of our Lord!