Summary: The Lord desires for us to be an encourager rather than a sour faced Christian.
THE MINISTRY OF ENCOURAGEMENT
District Assembly highlights/ I was encouraged not discouraged-
We need more encouragers and less discouragers! Amen.
One of the speakers was Lamorris Crawford, Chaplain of the Cincinnati Bengals. It was a positive impact that will stay with us for a long while.
Father, this morning, allow us to sense your Spirit ministering to each of us. Allow us to realize that we can play a part in someone’s day just by encouraging or discouraging them. We can be positive or negative and by choice we choose positive influence. May we be encouragers that make a difference in someone’s life.
Acts Chapter 9-
Paul’s amazing conversion on the road to Damascus.
(May that be an encouragement that none of us are too far from God that He cannot reach them.)
Paul’s “personal encounter” with Jesus changed his life forever. To hear the truth, speak the truth and see the truth, Paul became not only a believer, but an advocate for the Lord.
Acts 11- Peter a devout Jew preaching to the Jews gets a “vision” from God that shows him that “He is not to call impure what God has called pure” pertaining to the meats that was acceptable to eat.
It also showed him that the Jews were not the only ones to be included in God goodness and salvation.
He goes in Antioch and meets Barnabas who carries the message of encouragement into Jerusalem.
The Lord had shown Peter that He was to be an encourager rather than a Christian with a sour face.
Gosh O’day- Some people never have a kind word or an encouraging word- you could not even tell that the hope of Christ was in them. What kind of person are you?
Text- Acts chapter 11:19-26
“Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak.”
*** The world is certainly looking for a fresh word of encouragement.
***the lord is looking for people to be in the ministry of encouragement.
***there are a lot of people who discourage in the world, but few who encourage
To encourage- is to put courage into someone
To discourage- is to drain courage out
To put hope in a heart
70 % people today have a negative attitude and it takes 4 positive comments to offset the effect of one negative or critical comment
Sometimes after being with someone, I almost feel dirty because they have puked up such negative responses that it is almost overwhelming. (That’s why we need these assemblies)
Chuck Swindoll in his book “growing deep in the Christian life” tells about a man getting ready to make a around the world voyage in his homemade boat. Without exception everyone on the pier was vocally pessimistic. Everyone was telling him everything that could possibly go wrong. “The sun will boil you” “you won’t have enough food” that boat of yours won’t withstand any storms. “You’ll never make it”
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, your really something, were’ with you, were proud of you. Good luck brother!
***in a sense we are all in a life boat.
We are on a long journey.
There are not many people who are willing to offer encouragement along the way.
Speak and be a blessing to someone
***Put on a smile and see what it won’t do for someone- big smile- one short smile of creepy!
“We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check”
Ann launders says “The trouble with talking to fast is you say something you haven’t thought of yet”
Brothers (sisters) if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak
“let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit who listen.
***if you have a message of encourage- speak up. If you don’t- button up!
Everyone of us has a gift- Romans 12 tells us about seven gifts of service including encouragement.
Let’s get encouragement right this morning:
Encouragement what is it?
It literally means to come along side of someone.
It means that you are going to put courage into someone who needs it
It means that you are willing to separate from your world and want to be part of someone else’s