The lost art of encouragement..........
1 Thessalonians 5:11 "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."Encouragement is a lost art. We live in world of slander and gossip. The world teaches us to get ahead--you must destroy other-make yourself look better. That's not what the Bible teaches, yet it has creeped into our American churches. I have been blessed to be around "Encouragers." My dad made me read "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie when I was young. I laughed at the picture of Mr. Carnegie but his book was right. Carnegie teaches us that people like to be around encouraging people. He is so right. I find myself attracted to those who make me feel better about myself. That is why I try hard to be encouraging. John Maxwell, Joel Osteen and other speakers/ministers attract people because they are encouragers. Yes we must confront people when they sin, but lets allow the Bible to do it and not our own anger. Joseph from Cyprus was such an encourager that the disciples changed his name to Barnabas. Barnabas means "son of encourgement." Wow! That is cool.
I don't see many encouragers any more. My dad is an encourager and I guess it rubbed off on me. My friend Ken Nuss lives in Gulfport, MS and his church First Baptist was destroyed. Yet he was more concerned about me than his own situation. I have been blessed by several encouragers in my life: Jason Burns, Brad Campbell, Carlton Bradshaw, and others.
Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement)
Acts 9:27 "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."Barnabas encouraged Paul when no one wanted to have anything to do with Paul. If it weren't for Barnabas Saul might not have become Paul. I have been blessed to have encouragers in my life. I want to encourage some people who are facing difficult times now. Wade Burleson has stood upon principle and he and his family have paid the price. He has acted with integrity and grace. He has been a great friend to missionaries around the world. Thank you Wade. Dr. Bob Reccord and Dr. Jerry Rankin need our encouragement. Thank you for your service to the SBC. Thank you to all of our SBC Seminary presidents. Thank you to all of our NAMB and IMB missionaries. You are our heros. All of you have sacrificed so much for Jesus and I for one am grateful.
posted by Kevin Bussey at 2/17/2006 02:12:00 PM