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Little Foolishness" I
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Friday, October 24, 2014
Kraybill Church Road Sunset
Photo by our friend and neighbor Doug Maxwell
(Click on photo to enlarge)
Listen to this
he (Barnabas) came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he
exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast
purpose" (Acts 11:23). "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth" (3 John 1:4).
Over thirty years ago Tom and Marsha, a young couple with two children at the time,
came into a coffeehouse type ministry we had at our church in northern
Pennsylvania and made a serious commitment to serve the Lord. They experienced the marvelous transforming power of God and went on to become a part of our church and are very active in ministry as they faithfully serve the Lord to this day.
All three of their daughters are married and serving the Lord as
well. They have been blessed with grandchildren in recent years.
Last week I received a brief note from Jeanette, their oldest daughter
who is married and has several children. She thanked us for a specific
message that had touched her heart. I replied and commended her for
serving in women's ministries in her church.
She replied with a brief
note assuring me that "We are staying faithful!"
For many years I have often ended a conversation with a fellow follower of Christ with the brief exhortation, "Stay Faithful".
It's more than just a tag line I exchange in parting; it's meant to
spur my friend on in faithful service toward God. Today let us examine
Barnabas, a Bible character that I aspire to be like, who in our first
daily text also essentially stated, "Stay Faithful".
given name was Joseph but he received a nickname from the apostles and
that name stuck. Very few, even diligent Bible students, would likely
even recall his given name. Barnabas means "Son of Encouragement" and
indeed one of the great encouragers of Scripture.
Due to persecution the message of Christ was spreading way beyond
Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria by Acts 11. A group of disciples had
reached Antioch (see here for map) telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. "The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord" (Acts 11:21).
When news of this reached church headquarters in Jerusalem they
promptly dispatched Barnabas to the scene. The Scripture describes him
as "a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith" (Acts 11:24).
The daily verse succinctly describes what Barnabas encountered in
Antioch, along with his response. It is a good lesson for
encouragers of any generation. "When
he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all
to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose" (Acts
Let's examine this verse phrase by phrase:
1) "When he (Barnabas) came and saw the grace of God." Scripture doesn't specify just what Barnabas saw. The NIV words it, "evidence of the grace of God".
That's wonderful isn't it? We hope you have seen evidence of the
grace of God in fellow believers. We also hope that we abundantly display that evidence in
2) "He was glad"
- What makes you glad today? Ask yourself, does it have eternal worth?
3) He exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose." That's how Luke concisely describes Barnabas' ministry and as an encourager that's how we will conclude today's challenge.
When he wrote the second daily text "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth", the aged Apostle John was likely
referring to his spiritual children; those whom he had impacted for
Christ over many years of ministry. We have often used this "feel good"
passage when I consider the growing blessedness of our impact on
others over the long-term (one of the few blessings I can say that
comes with aging). It's a great joy to hear from someone like
Jeanette whom Brooksyne and I first met as a toddler many years ago and
to hear of her steadfast faithfulness to the truth.
Today Brooksyne and I encourage each of our Daily Encouragement readers to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose! Declare today, "I am staying faithful!"
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
there is gladness in our hearts when we express our praise to You. We
don't want a complaining heart that dwells on that which one does not
have, but we desire a thankful heart that appreciates all that has been
given to us. We have continuous evidence of Your grace in every area of
our life including that of our fellow brothers and sisters who have
forsaken the world and surrendered their all to You. May we be eager to
reveal Your grace to others as You
continue the lifelong work of replacing our old nature by transforming
it into the likeness of Your Son, Jesus Christ. May we be found
faithful with steadfast purpose all the days of our life. Amen
Display at Shady Maple 10/21/14
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Keep Me True" Video Jabu Hlongwane (South African Gospel music)
"Find Us Faithful" Video Steve Green with the Gaither homecoming singers
"Little Is Much When God Is in It" Video Wes Hampton with the Gaither homecoming singers
to Stephen &
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am created by God to bring
Him glory. Through God’s Son, Jesus Christ, I have been
redeemed and I make it my life’s goal to honor God through my
faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for
Encouragement Net 495
Church Road Mount
C. Weber All
the weak things in the world,
That no flesh will glory
in His presence."