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Summary: We need to be in the encouragement business! And If you have any message of encouragement for others,Please speak it!

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Maturing in our faith

INTRO.- ILL.- There once was a man who was getting ready to sail around the world in his homemade boat.

• And there was a crowd of people on the pier that weren’t being supportive.

• They were telling him everything that could possibly go wrong.

• “The sun will burn you.” “You won’t have enough food.” “That boat of yours won’t withstand any storms.” “You’ll never make it.”

But a man standing nearby heard all these discouraging words and decided instead to offer some words of encouragement.

• As the little boat began pulling away from shore, he went to the end of the pier and began waving both his arms wildly and shouted,

• “BON VOYAGE! YOU’RE REALLY SOMETHING! WE’RE WITH YOU! WE’RE PROUD OF YOU! GOOD LUCK, BROTHER!”

This story is so similar to our lives.

• In a sense, all of us are in a little boat.

• We are on a long journey, not knowing if we are going to make it or not.

• And as we head out to sea, there are very few people who stand there giving us any encouragement.

• Most people in life are critical or negative.

• That’s a pretty sad commentary on life, but so often, it’s true.

• In Life there are many discouragers but few encouragers.

• Many people are better at discouraging others than encouraging them.

ILL.- A three-year study found that most school teachers

• Were negative and critical 75% of the time in dealing with their students.

• The study also indicated that it takes four positive comments to offset the effect

• Of one negative or critical comment.

• Now, there is also the other side of the coin.

• On June 1, 1965, a 13 1/2 foot boat left MASS. Destined for England.

• It would be the smallest boat in history to ever make the trip.

• In fact the boat was so small that the owner named it TINKERBELLE.

• That owner and pilot of this boat was Robert Manry.

• Robert had been a copy editor for the CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER for ten years and was bored,

• So he took a leave of absence to fulfill his secret dream.

• Truth be told Robert was afraid, but not of the ocean.

• He was afraid of all those people who would try and talk him out of the trip.

• So he didn’t tell many people, just a few relatives and his wife, Virginia

• Who was his greatest supporter and encourager.

• The trip was anything but pleasant.

• He spent many sleepless nights trying to cross the shipping lanes without getting run over or sinking.

• Weeks at sea caused his food to become tasteless.

• Loneliness caused him to have hallucinations.

• And His rudder broke three times.

• Storms swept him overboard, and if he hadn’t been for the rope he had tied around his waist,

• He would never have made it back on board.

• Finally, after 78 days alone at sea, he sailed into England on August 17th.

During his many nights, he fantasized about what he would do

• When he got to England.

• He planned to check into a hotel, eat dinner alone,

• And the next morning see if the Associated Press might be interested in his story.

• But word of his approach had spread.

• To his amazement, three hundred boats, with horns blasting,

• Escorted the TINKERBELLE into port.

• And 40,000 people stood screaming and cheering him to shore.

Robert Manry became an overnight hero.

• But he couldn’t have done it on his own!

• Standing on the dock was an even greater hero, his wife Virginia.

• She had refused to be critical

• She had refused to be negative about her husband’s trip.

• She gave him constant encouragement which helped him pursue and complete his dream!

The world today needs a whole lot more people just like Virginia Manry!

• Both men and women alike who will give others

• The needed encouragement to face life and it’s obstacles!

• We need a word of encouragement!

• The World needs a word of encouragement!

Acts 13 What we in this text teaches is the importance of encouragement in life.

1- Encouragement must be spoken

2- Encouragement deals with good news

3- Encouragement ultimately leads people to God

I. ENCOURAGEMENT MUST BE SPOKEN

15 After the usual readings from the books of Moses and the prophets, those in charge of the service sent them this message: “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, come and give it.”

ILL.- Pianist Arthur Rubenstein once told this story on himself.

• Some years ago he got a bad case of hoarseness. He lost his voice

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