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Encouragement

August 20, 2017

Text: Act 4:36      

 

A. Ecouragement by example in giving.

  1. When the saints in Jerusalem had need, the brethren sold their possessions, lands, and houses to provide for them (Act 4:34-35).

  2. Sometimes we think that it is the sole responsibility of the older brethren to take care of members in need, but Barnabas took it upon himself to take care of the needy saints in Jerusalem (Act 4:36-37).

  3. Are there members that we could have prevented from falling away if only we had encouraged them in giving of our time, energy, or money when they are facing physical challenges (Heb 12:12)?

 

B. Encouragement by extension of fellowship.

  1. When Saul became a Christian, the disciples in Jerusalem were all afraid of him and doubted that he was a genuine convert (Act 9:26).

  2. Sometimes we think that it is the sole responsibility of the elders to welcome visiting brethren and new converts, but Barnabas took it upon himself to welcome Saul (Act 9:27).

  3. Are there members that we could have prevented from falling away if only we had encouraged them in extending our hand of fellowship to them when they are new in the faith (1Pe 4:9)?

 

C. Encouragement by exhortation from God's Word.

  1. When the Grecians in Antioch obeyed the Gospel, the church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to exhort and encourage them (Act 11:20-22).

  2. Sometimes we think that it is the sole responsibility of the preachers to strengthen the congregation through preaching and teaching, but Barnabas took it upon himself to strengthen the church in Antioch (Act 11:23-24).

  3. Are there members that we could have prevented from falling away if only we had encouraged them in exhorting them from God’s Word when they are discouraged in their faith (Rom 15:1-2)?

 

D. Encouragement by exercising forgiveness.

  1. When Paul suggested to Barnabas to follow up on the churches that were established in their earlier missionary journey, Barnabas was determined to bring along John Mark but Paul was adamant not to take him with them, and their contention resulted in separate missionary journeys (Act 15:36-39).

  2. Sometimes we write off a person when he makes a mistake, but Barnabas took it upon himself to mentor John Mark and give him a 2nd chance (2Ti 4:11).

  3. Are there members that we could have prevented from falling away if only we had encouraged them in exercising forgiveness when they have done wrong (Gal 6:1-2)?

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