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Summary: Part VI of a six week series demonstrating how God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

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BARNABAS: THE ENCOURAGING FRIEND

FULL MANUSCRIPT

By Dr. Rik B. Wadge, Ph.D.

Introduction:

+A 200-year-old church was being readied for an anniversary celebration when calamity struck: the bell ringer was called out of town.

The priest immediately advertised for another.

When the replacement arrived, the priest took him to the steps leading to the bell tower, some 150 feet above them. Round and round they went, huffing and puffing all the way. Just as they reached the landing, the bell ringer tripped and fell face-first into the biggest bell of all. Bo-o-o-o-ong!

Dazed by the blow, the bell ringer stumbled backward onto the landing. The railing broke loose and he fell to the ground. Miraculously, he was unhurt—only stunned—but the sexton thought it best to call an ambulance.

“Do you know this man’s name?” the paramedic asked.

“No,” the Priest replied, “but his face sure rings a bell.” + +

This morning we’re talking about encouragement, let me encourage you to keep your head out of a large bell.

William Barclay writes: +"One of the highest of Christian duties is the duty of encouragement. It’s easy to pour cold water other’s enthusiasm; it’s easy to discourage people. The world is full of discouragers. We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a Christian on his feet.

Today we’re going to look at Barnabas. + Even the name Barnabas means +encouragement. Lit. +"son of encouragement"

Everything that the New Testament tells us about Barnabas is encouraging.

The proper Definition of Encouragement: +"To inspire with hope, courage, or confidence; To give support to; to foster; To stimulate; to spur on."

We’re going to look at 3 separate events in the life of +Barnabas which brought encouragement.

I think we’ll have a better understanding of what it means to be an encourager.

+I. Barnabas Encouraged the Church by his Giving.

Acts 4:36-37

(Acts 4:36-37 NIV) +"Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), {37} sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet."

Comments:

Poor churches in Asia Minor needed food, and help.

+Acts 20:35 ’It is more blessed to give than to receive.’"

+Luke 6:38 "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.""

Cartoon: Man stands, hat in hand, in pastor’s office. "Hello. I’m here to get personally involved by using all of my gifts in a ministry of sensitivity and extreme sacrifice to challenge a secularized, value-impoverished society with the radical claims of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Great, the Pastor says, when can you start? I have Thursday afternoons free, from three to four P.M."

Our generation doesn’t have a clue of what it means to sacrificially give in regards to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Scripture tells us that:

+* Giving encourages us to practice unselfishness.


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