13 April 2010
Acts 11:17 …. Who was I that I could stand in God’s way? … 20 … began speaking… preaching the Lord Jesus. 21. And the hand of the Lord was with them…23… he [Barnabus] rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord; 24. for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord.
Lord God, You know that lately I have been thinking a lot about Barnabus – “son of encouragement.” Because, Lord God – Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit – that is truly who I want to be – an encourager. I even was wondering if there is a feminine form of the name, that means “daughter of encouragement!”
Every morning when I am out walking, I smile at everyone (always have, it seems… perpetual grin on my face… even if it used to embarrass my kids some) (although I guess I did go through a cranky teen stage, because I remember my mom telling me if I didn’t stop frowning and start smiling, I would get permanent frown wrinkles!).
But Lord – You came into my life – and the frown was just wiped out by the joy You brought – even in the rough times, even when I was worried and feeling hopeless and helpless; I couldn’t help smiling a lot… that is Your joy, alone! Anyway, I always see people suddenly smile at me – and realize that I was smiling at them. Smiles are catching! I also say a cheery “Good morning!” There is this guy who I often pass when I’m out walking, who is always alone. At first, I’d smile and say, “Good morning,” and he’d move away to the side, look down, and walk quickly around me. And for awhile, when I was coming toward him, he’d even cross over to the other side of the street. But yesterday our paths crossed again; and before I could even say, “Good morning,” he looked me straight in the eye and lifted his hand in greeting! That was so cool. Even a little bit of a smile, and he didn’t move to the side. Wow! Thank You, Lord!
Oh, and on the way to street breakfast on Monday, I ran across R and H, and when I got to the gathering place, there were D and L, and pretty soon a couple other folks came by, and we all were standing on the street corner having a great visit. And just as on Sunday, lots of people turned up… so I certainly wasn’t lonely! Thank You!
So yes… I want to be Your DAUGHTER OF ENCOURAGEMENT! And yes, I especially want to “encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord!” (Acts 11:23).
And look how that turned out for Barnabus: Acts 11:26…And for an entire year they [Barnabus and Paul] met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christian in Antioch.
Cool! I’d like to have that kind of experience… and be able to teach about You like that!