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Summary: How can I find influence through encouragement?

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The Unstoppable Influence

of Encouragement

Acts Series: “Completely Irreligious, Yet Radically Christian” Part 22

Pastor Jeff Christopherson

June 15, 2003

Acts 13:13-52

HOW CAN I BE INFLUENCIAL THROUGH ENCOURAGING?

1. I’m influential when…

I LOOK for people to BLESS.

“From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia…” Acts 13:13a

2. I’m influential when…

I Believe the Best in people.

“…where John left them to return to Jerusalem.” Acts 13:13b

3. I’m influential when…

I Look for people to Bless.

I Believe the Best in people.

I Share what people really Desire to know:

“From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down. After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the synagogue rulers sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak.”” Acts 13:14-15

My Most Encouraging & Influential Message:

a) God is ALWAYS in CONTROL.

• God was in control during Israel’s Egyptian captivity (16-20a).

• God was in control to provide Israel with a righteous king, David, from whose lineage the Messiah would come (20b-23).

• God was in control when He chose John the Baptist to prepare the way for the Messiah (24-25).

• God was in control during the mock trials, illegal crucifixion and the resurrection of the Messiah (26-36).

Therefore, God is in control of (my greatest fear):

b) God has a PURPOSE for your LIFE.

“When David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he died…” Acts 13:36

c) God offers a FRESH START.

“Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.” Acts 13:38-39

4. I’m influential when…

I Look for people to Bless.

I Believe the Best in people.

I Share what people really Desire to know:

I LEAVE the RESULTS to God.

The Key: Let the WORD of God do the WORK of God.

POSSIBLE RESULTS TO HEARING GOD’S MESSAGE:

a) I am BITTER.

(Because I am actively resisting God’s Truth.)

“On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and talked abusively against what Paul was saying. Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” Acts 13:44-47

b) I am ENCOURAGED.

(Because I recognize my need for God’s grace.)

“When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.” Acts 13:48

c) I am TRANSFORMED.

(Because I allow God to have access in my whole life.)

“The word of the Lord spread through the whole region…And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:49, 52

Scripture passages from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.

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Home Church Discussion Guide: Encouraging Influence

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1. When has someone’s ‘encouragement’ had a dramatic impact on your life? What does that tell you about the influence of encouragement? 2. In Acts 13:13a, we see that Barnabas has allowed Paul to take the leadership role. What does this tell you about Barnabas? How are humility and encouragement linked? When have you experienced something like this? 3. In Acts 13:13b, we see that Barnabas’ cousin, John Mark, for some reason has left the missionary team. Later, we’ll find that Barnabas is the one who desires to give John Mark a second chance (see 15:36-40). How are encouragement and ‘second chances’ linked? What ‘second chance’ has impacted your life? 4. In Acts 13:14-15, we see the general principle that most people are in need of and desire encouragement. From Paul and Barnabas’ example, what is the most encouraging thing we have to offer? Why do we sometimes feel that ‘good news’ may be perceived of as ‘bad news’? From this example in Acts, what ‘good news’ does an unchurched friend or family member need to hear; a) God is always in control, b) God has a purpose for your life, or c) God offers a fresh start. 5. Pray for opportunities to be an encouraging influence on specific relationships who need Jesus.

 2003, Jeff Christopherson, The Sanctuary

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