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The Art of Encouragement

So I’m having one of my ordinary days. Things aren’t going so bad. Okay, I’m a little behind schedule, but what’s new? I always think I can get more done than I really can. I’m not too frustrated; I’m just trying to get everything together and get ready to leave for work when I get a call from George Marchmont.

There’s something about talking to George Marchmont that just puts a smileon my face. He’s called to tell me how much he and Janet enjoy readingthe weekly Tea Time For Your Soul messages. He’s quickto give Janet all the credit for reading them because his eyes are too bad toread himself anymore. He doesn’t want to take up too much of my time, buthe wants me to know that God is using the messages I write to speak to many people.Before he called I didn’t think I was feeling all that bad; but after Ihung up, I felt so much better. I’m not the only one who feels so upliftedand encouraged by George and Janet. They are a team of encouragers.

It makes me think of Barnabas. His real name was Joseph but the apostles calledhim Barnabas because it meant “Son of Encouragement” (Acts4:36). Every time his name is mentioned in Scripture it is in reference tosomething good he has done for others; selling land to give to those in need,bringing Paul to Antioch, defending John Mark’s fitness for mission work.He was one of those people who was known not so much by his name as by his character.When people thought of him they didn’t think of Joseph the Levite; theythought of the way he was constantly encouraging others.

I’ve got to think, what would the apostles call me? I guess I would belucky if they just called me Debi. What other name would characterizehow I live each day? Barnabas was known as an encourager, but he was also knownto be full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a good man as well Acts11:24. It was the Holy Spirit working through him that made him so encouragingto others. Wouldn’t it be great to live your life full of the Holy Spiritthat people remembered the Holy Spirit’s work within you more than theyremembered your name?

If you want to have the kind of impact on people that Barnabas had, you too needto be full of the Holy Spirit and faith. There was nothing in Joseph, calledBarnabas, that made him especially given to encouragement. It was the power ofthe Holy Spirit released in him that enabled him to live such an exemplary life.Start living full of the Holy Spirit and be prepared to be given a new nick-name!

Note: There are links to Biblegateway.com forall the Scripture used in this devotional. Let me know if you like this feature.

 

 

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