6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Encouragement

Becoming a Barnabas or a Barnacle, Acts 4:36-37

Eric A. Snyder, Minister, Farwell Church of Christ

September 8, 2002

A man interviews some people for a secretary job. First enters a very beautiful woman and the boss asks her:

- "What’s your name?"

- "Lily", says the woman.

- "Why Lilac?" asks the boss.

- "Because when I was born, a lily fell on me from the sky".

Then enters a second woman, more beautiful than the first.....

- "What’s your name?" asks the boss.

- "Rose", says the woman.

- "Why rose?" asks the boss.

- "Because when I was born, a rose fell on me from the sky".

Then enters the third man, hideously ugly......

- "What’s your name?" asks the boss.

- "Piano", says the man.

Have you ever noticed that people tend to look a certain way by the name they are given? For example if your name if your mane is Eric then we all know you are going to be a good looking person. And if your name is Phil, well let me just say I’m sorry.

We spend a lot of time trying to find the perfect name for our children sometimes years before they are born. The reason we spend so much time is because a name describes who we are. In fact you could go out today and buy a book of names and meanings that will help you chose what names you like.

And most of us know what our names mean. And they become part of us.

This is not a new practice. People have been giving their children names with meaning since the beginning of time. In fact when we see God tell Mary that she is going to have a son He tells her to name him Jesus because it means “He shall save”

Names and name meanings are a big deal. Sometimes those names that we were born with don’t stick because there’s a better way to describe us. So those that know us best give us nicknames. My nickname in high school was Snidely whiplash, because of my driving ability. My dad’s name is Dennis but to this day everyone calls him Sam, it was a nickname given by an uncle that just stuck.

The manager of a large office noticed a new man one day and told him to come into his office. "What’s your name?" he asked the new guy.

"John," the new guy replied.

The manager scowled, "Look... I don’t know what kind of a place you worked before, but I don’t call anyone by their first name. It breeds familiarity and that leads to a breakdown in authority. I refer to my employees by their last name only ... Smith, Jones, Baker ... That’s all. I am to be referred to only as Mr. Robertson. Now that we got that straight, what is your last name?"

The new guy sighed, "Darling. My name is John Darling."

"Okay John"

I love to watch the Sienfeld episodes and one of my favorite ones George decides that he wants a cool nick name like t-bone. So he starts ordering t-bone steaks and ends up with the nickname coco.

We don’t get to pick our names and we don’t get to pick our nicknames. Because they are representations of how others see our lives or anticipate what we will do.

Our text today is about a man who had a great name

His name was Joseph and you can find him in Acts 4:36-37

His name was Joseph

Joseph means “God shall add”

What a great name, God shall add. To have a name that describes the promises and prosperity of God that He will add to the life represented here.

I would suggest to you that the first step to understanding the blessings of God is to look at How god has added to your life.

How many Joseph’s do we have in this room today? I was born and they called be Eric, But I have to tell you the Lord has added to my life and I believe that he is going to keep adding to my life.

How many of you believe “God shall add” to your life?

That’s where this man was,

Acts 4:36-37 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.


Believing God will add to your life

This is such an important step in becoming the person God wants you to be. It is hard to be a source of encouragement if you are not encouraged yourself.

I know God has the capability to take care of every person in this room. I know he cares for you because I have experienced His blessings in my life.

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