Week 3 – Add Fabric Softener
CARING LIKE 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. [NLT]
GENEROUS – Acts 4:36-37 – Barnabas sold land to provide for fellow Christians
ACCEPTING – Acts 9:26-28 – Barnabas took a chance with Paul when the other’s weren’t accepting him.
ENCOURAGING – Acts 11:23-24 – Barnabas was glad to see what God did through others and encouraged them to all remain true to God.
GRACIOUS – Acts 15:36-41 – Barnabas extended grace to John Mark, not giving up on John Mark.
Embrace – Encourage – Equip – Empower
Put yourself aside and let others get ahead (Philippians 2:3-4)
Speak what is helpful for building others up (Ephesians 4:29)
2 Timothy 4:11 – Paul later requested John Mark because he was profitable to the ministry.
Breakout Session Questions:
1) Read Acts 15:36-41 and Philippians 2:3-4. How does this passage in Philippians relate to the narrative in Acts 15?
2) Read Ephesians 4:29. What does Paul describe in this passage? How do we live this out?
3) Read Romans 15:1-6 Who are we to please? What does this passage describe as the relationship between the strong and weak? How can we live this out?
4) Read 1 Timothy 2:1-3. What does this passage say is most important, and why is this most important?
Handle with Care is a 6-week series focused on studying God’s Word and responding with care. The six weeks of messages may sound like instructions for laundry care — but you will soon find Handle with Care beckons you to examine within, to gauge how you truly love God and love others, and to grow inward and outward. Caring starts with the heart and pours out into the community.
- Week 1 – Stain Removal – Caring for God’s glory
- Week 2 – Do Not Bleach – Caring for Truth
- Week 3 – Add Fabric Softener – Caring like Barnabas
- Week 4 – Fasten the Zipper – Caring for Unity
- Week 5 – Empty Pockets – Caring for Treasures
- Week 6 – Iron Low Heat – Caring without Complacency
Our words are very powerful. The Bible tells us that our words can kill. We have a choice with regard to the words we speak. We can speak good words, uplifting words. We can speak bad words, words that tear down.
In my lifetime, I have been hurt many times by words. I am sure you can say the same thing. Words kept me from doing things I considered stepping out and doing. Words kept me from writing for many, many years. Words made me think less of myself. Recently, I have witnessed words tear down my child. As a parent, it’s painful to stand on the sidelines and watch it happen. My child, who I see as a great Barnabas to others, was on the receiving end of harsh words rather than encouraging ones. I saw my passionate, free-spirited, sensitive child wanting to quit, wanting to be far away. Despite working so hard, doing so great, beating personal records, sacrificing so much—it didn’t matter. Despite encouraging others to do their best—it didn’t matter. All of the positive accomplishments were blinded by the cruelness of a few.
We all have to face the wrath of some harsh words from time to time. They break us. The devil loves to use them to keep us from doing what will glorify our Father more. Remember today the importance of the words you speak. Do you want to build up or tear down? Do you want to encourage or discourage? Do you want to grow or destroy? Speak words of love. Speak words of truth. Speak words of grace. There is power in your words.
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” – Proverbs 18:21 [NIV]
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God carries us through. He carried the Israelites through the Red Sea and through the Wilderness. Just like He was with Joseph so He is with us. He promises to never leave or forsake. His Word tells us through Him we have victory. He is the love of your life and of mine. Boldly declare His Word today. Walk with confidence. #truth #Bible #GodsWord #Jesus #truelove
My daughter’s run today was different than all the others. She placed better than ever before and she had her fastest time to date. It was such a great moment to watch the outcome of all of her hard work. But I noticed something else different. There were lots of loud cheers coming from the sidelines. She had an entire cheering squad.
People need encouragement. People need to hear kind and supportive words. What was Moses supposed to do with Joshua? Encourage him (Deuteronomy 1:38). What did Barnabas do to Paul by taking a chance on him? Encourage and support him (Acts 9:27). Paul wrote, “Encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV). Paul sends Tychicus to the church in Colossae to “encourage (their) hearts” (4:8 NIV). In Hebrews 3 we read of this importance – to “encourage one another daily” (v.13 NIV). In 2 Timothy 4:2, it states: “encourage your people with great teaching” (NLT).
Encouragement matters. Today I encourage you to encourage others. Make a point to encourage someone. Do you see someone doing something awesome? Tell them you have taken notice. Compliment them. Give them a word of encouragement. Do you know someone who is struggling and could use some kind words? Take the time and share them. You never know how much a little encouragement can do in a person’s life. Plant those seeds of encouragement.
“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 [NIV]
There was a myth that spoke of two men that went through an area and were not received well by the people. Only one couple accepted these two men and in exchange for their acceptance, the couple was given a huge palace to live in while the others paid the price for their disbelief.
In Acts 14, as Paul healed a lame man through Christ, the people shouted about the gods coming down. They called Paul Hermes and Barnabas Zeus. They wanted to offer sacrifices. They did not want to be like the people in this myth.
Do you have a palace state of mind? If you would see a miracle before your eyes, would you attribute it to wherever the crowd was pointing? Or would you only point to Christ? The people of Lystra were eager for Paul and Barnabas to be gods. It would fit with this myth. It would make sense to the storyline in their minds. We, too, can believe in myths or we can make another choice—we can choose truth. We can choose the Truth. Don’t let the myths in your mind thwart you from accepting the Truth. God is not in a box. He is more than you could imagine. He will knock your socks off. Get ready!
“When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, ‘The gods have come down to us in human form!’” – Acts 14:11 [NIV]
Have you encouraged someone today? This appears to be a simple question but I challenge you to honestly consider your day and if you took the time to encourage someone. People need encouragement—look around and there is no way to deny it. Negativity is everywhere. People identify with their failures. People listen to what the world says about them. People live with defeat. People are struggling.
The amazing thing is that encouragement isn’t so difficult—it’s all about being intentional. As I was reading the Book of Acts, I read about how Paul was encouraging others. In Acts 20, it mentions how he encouraged the disciples and then as he traveled through Macedonia, he continued to speak words of encouragement. Moses was told to encourage his successor Joshua (Deuteronomy 3:28). Barnabas, “the son of encouragement,” surely lived up to his name as he was the one to welcome and work alongside Paul after his conversation (see Acts 9).
Again and again we are commanded to encourage each other. This was mentioned so many times because everyone needs encouragement. Let us be encouragers. Let us spend time building each other up rather than tearing each other down. We each are a part of the same body, and as a body needs each of its parts to work together, so we each need each other to fully function. Be an encouragement.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 [NIV]