Tag Archives: Antioch
I recently shared a devotional on being one who provides encouragement to others. Here’s the outline for reference / resource. To download this, follow the link below.
Be a Barnabas
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:24-25 [NLT]
The apostles sent Barnabas to Antioch — “When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.” – Acts 11:23-24 [NIV]
Acts 4:36-37 – Barnabas sold land to provide for fellow Christians
Acts 9:26-28 – Barnabas (“Son of Encouragement”) took a chance on Paul. Others weren’t accepting him in Jerusalem because they didn’t believe he was a disciple but Barnabas spoke up for him.
Barnabas provided encouragement to John Mark. There was a disagreement between Paul and Barnabas over John Mark. Barnabas didn’t give up on John Mark and Paul later requested John Mark because he was “profitable to the ministry” (2 Timothy 4).
- ENCOURAGE – help them develop to who they are meant to be in Christ, give support, give confidence
- Put yourself aside and help others get ahead [Philippians 2:3-4]
- “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” – Ephesians 4:29 [MSG] SPEAK LIFE
- EQUIP – Give them tools needed, supply someone something, prepare someone, be an example.
- EMPOWER – Create opportunities for them to serve others, give authority – don’t always say yes to something because you think no one will step up. You end up filling up what God designed someone else to fill and spreading yourself too thing.
- EMBRACE – Love them, care for them, pray for them, accept, support, hold closely
- Loving God includes loving people (1 John 4:20-21)
- Paul told Timothy – 1st thing PRAY every way you know how for everyone you know – 1 Timothy 2:1-3
- “Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do…. Treat them gently.” – Romans 14:1 [MSG]
- Strong and able in faith – step in and lend a hand to those who falter à How can I help? “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” – Romans 15:1 [ESV]
William Barclay said, “No man ever saved his soul who devoted his whole time and energy to saving it, but many a man has saved it by being so concerned for others that he forgot that he himself had a soul to save.”
When Paul and Barnabas were in Lystra, Paul healed a lame man and the people began to call the duo gods. Paul and Barnabas tore their clothing as a sign of mourning and shouted at the crowd that they were only human. They could have accepted the glory for themselves. They could have allowed the people to sacrifice to them as they had wished. Instead they spoke of the living God, and things changed.
Even as they spoke the words, the people still attempted to sacrifice to them. But then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium. The Jews influenced the crowd and the men that were once considered gods were now looked at differently. Paul was stoned. He was stoned so badly that they thought he was dead (see Acts 14).
Integrity is rare today. Here we see Paul and Barnabas standing firm. Paul might not have been stoned if he had accepted being called Hermes. But then the message he was sharing all over would not have meant much. The message never changes. The Bible never changes. To be taken serious, we must walk with integrity. We must stand firm even if the stones will come flying. If we present anything but the Truth, we won’t be taken seriously. Integrity costs.
“And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.” – Titus 2:7 [NLT]
We often talk about being rescued. Most people believe that being rescued means that a person is saved from a dangerous or stressful situation. But when Paul wrote that “the Lord rescued,” it means so much more. To fully understand what it means when the Lord rescues, helps us to embrace everything that comes our way.
The word rescue is translated rhýomai. The meaning of rescue from the Lord is that the Lord draws oneself, in this case Paul, to Himself. The situation, the persecution, the suffering, whatever it may be, was used by God to bring Paul closer to Him.
We may say we need rescued by God from a situation. We may say that only God can get us through a particular trial. These things are true. But to be rescued by God is not simply to be saved from the situation. When He rescues us, He draws us close. The situation you might be going through right now can bring you closer to God. If you allow Him to move through and you look to Him in the process, you will find yourself much closer to Him. The Lord can rescue you from all.
“You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings–what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.” – 2 Timothy 3:10-11 [NIV]