SERIES: “LESSONS FROM THE EARLY CHURCH”
TEXT: ACTS 13:13-43 (Read with points)
TITLE: “BE ENCOURAGED”
INTRODUCTION: A. Andor Foldes was a great Hungarian concert pianist. He once recounted a kiss that
changed his life. He was 16 years old, and feeling very low because of an ongoing
conflict with his piano teacher, when Emil von Sauer visited Budapest. von Sauer was
a famous pianist, and the last surviving pupil of the another famous pianist: Franz
Von Sauer asked Foldes to play for him. A very anxious Foldes performed some of
the most difficult works of Bach, Beethoven and Schumann. When he had finished he
nervously awaited the great master’s response. Von Sauer got up from his chair,
walked over to Foldes, kissed him on the forehead and said, "My son, when I was
your age I became a student of Liszt. He kissed me on the forehead after my first
lesson, saying, ’Take good care of this kiss - it comes from Beethoven, who gave it me
after hearing me play.’ I have waited for years to pass on this sacred heritage, but now
I feel you deserve it." It was that kiss that changed Foldes life, and spurred him to
continue with his piano studies and playing even through the darkest periods of his life
B. Many of you are going through distressing times:
1. You’re facing health problems and physical disabilities
2. Some are facing problems concerning children or other family members
3. Others have lost a loved one in the recent past
4. Some maybe having a difficult time at work
5. Some maybe having a difficult time finding work
6. Maybe someone has wronged you
7. Maybe someone thinks you have wronged them
C. When you continue to have to fight against these kinds of problems; when your life is
constantly bombarded with difficulty it is common to suffer discouragement and
1. Depression is considered the #1 health problem in the US today
2. Over 200 million prescriptions have bee written just to threat the symptoms of
depression over the last few years.
3. Some have even estimated that as many as 1 out of every 3 people suffer from
some form of mental illness.
4. Considered telling a joke at this point in the message about depression or mental
illness but its just not a laughing matter to those who are hurting deeply.
D. Some great and famous people have suffered from great bouts with discouragement
and depression. Consider this person’s story:
At the age of seven, he had to go to work to help support his family. At age nine,
his mother died. At 22, he lost his hob as a store clerk. At 23, he went into debt and
became a partner in a small store. At 26, his partner died leaving him a huge debt.
By the age of 35, he had been defeated twice while running for a seat in Congress.
At one point in his life, he wrote in his journal that he struggled with a great
depression and could not see any reason for going on with his life – but he did keep
going. His faith was strong.
At the age of 37, he won the election for a congressional seat. At 39, he lost his bid
for re-election. At 41, his 4-year-old son died. At 42, he was rejected for a position as