Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0133
As we enter our 12th year of “Barnabas Bulletin” I would like to focus on the purpose as to why this BB Ministry was started. It came as a result of my ministering in Asia amongst a group of discouraged ministers and missionaries from eight different countries. That experience gave me a burden for Christian Leaders, as I have observed over the years how many get discouraged in their calling. The burden did not leave me, and then God spoke to me in England, told me to encourage them, and gave me the name “Barnabas Bulletin”. The name “Barnabas” means “son of prophecy; son of consolation” “Consolation” means “a person or thing that is a source of comfort in a time of suffering, grief, disappointment, etc.” (Collins Dictionary). The Bible describes him as: “. . . they sent out Barnabas to go as far as to Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord” (Acts 11:22-24). Barnabas was an encourager. He saw the good and the potential in others and encouraged them accordingly. The ministry of encouragement is one that every Christian can function in. Everywhere one looks today people need encouraging. You need encouraging ~ and I need encouraging! The word “encourage” means “1. to inspire (someone) with the courage or confidence (to do something). 2. to stimulate (something or someone to do something) by approval or help; support” (Collins).
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU ENCOURAGED SOMEBODY?
Tragically it seems that few Christians consciously go out of their way to encourage others. Why not? Is it because we are looking for it from others, but don’t realize that we can make the first move and encourage others? Ask yourself, “When was the last time you audibly encouraged someone else?” (When was the last time someone audibly encouraged you?). It certainly does not happen enough. What a difference it makes when someone comes alongside and tells you they believe in you, in your calling, and that God is pleased with you? There is power in your tongue and words when you speak out positive encouragement to others!
I have been in Christian Ministry for over 50 years. In that time I have seen scores of men and women rise up with a great call of God on their lives and they begin to do exploits for Jesus. But after a time they “disappear” and are never heard of again. What happened? Discouragement got to them and caused them to doubt the call of God. The resulting decisions made in those times of discouragement brought about things that “robbed” them of the call of God on their lives. If only there were those who could discern what was happening and could have gotten alongside of them with words of encouragement, then God’s called men and women would not have “fallen by the wayside” in to a normal, but unfulfilling life-style. I say this because there is nothing more wonderful than to know the call and will of God ~ and to be walking in it.
May we all make a conscious effort to be more aware of the importance of the ministry of encouragement. Yes, encouraging others is an important and vital ministry ~ much more than we realize! As the world continues to reject the risen Christ Jesus and spirals on it downwards path, Christians everywhere will need to be more and more encouraged to “stand firm in the faith” and not to be side-tracked by the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil (1 John 2:15-17). Make no mistake about it: we are in a war, and the battle is raging! That means the ministry of encouragement is urgently needed to be spoken out to others. It needs an audible voice. It needs more than a silent prayer! It needs you and me to be aware of situations that people are in, and to come alongside and speak out the words of encouragement they need to hear! You can do that! I can do that!
Be encouraged to look for opportunities ~ more opportunities ~ to encourage others in these days. Your encouragement is desperately needed! Your encouragement may be a matter of life or death for some! You will be amazed at what your words of encouragement to others will accomplish. So don’t hold back. As you encourage others, you will also be encouraged yourself! Right now you and I do not know whether our next word of encouragement for someone may prove to be a divine encounter that will change the rest of their lives for God and for good! Do not hold back! ~ Rodney W. Francis.
Please Pray This Prayer:
“Dear God, I come to You in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and I ask You to help me to have a more compassionate heart toward those who are afflicted, wounded and desperately needy. Help me to be sensitive to where other people are at, so that I can encourage them in the potential they have in You. Help me to not be too busy to see others needs. I really do want to do Your will, and to be an effective and fruitful minister of Your Supernatural Gospel in my day and generation. I desire to fulfil Your vision for my life, and share your loving heart with others! Thank You, Lord. In Jesus' name, I pray these things. Amen."