March 19, 2014
“When the church in Jerusalem got wind of this, they sent Barnabas to Antioch to check on things. As soon as he arrived, he saw that God was behind and in it all. He threw himself in with them, got behind them, urging them to stay with it the rest of their lives. He was a good man that way, enthusiastic and confident in the Holy Spirit’s ways. The community grew large and strong in the Master.” Acts 11:22-24 The Message
Barney was infected with grace. Wherever he went, he saw grace moments. He had the eyes to see what God was up to and he adjusted his life to be part of it. When Christ moves into your life, you begin to change how you look at others. It doesn’t happen overnight. Some lives change over years. Others see evidence of God’s Spirit and lay aside their personal concerns and take on others concerns. Encouragers like Barney tend to say the right words or serve in such a way that you are strengthened to “stay with it” the rest of your life. Encouragement is that gift of the Holy Spirit that gives you the strength to take the next step .. believe into the moment .. and recognize that God has not abandoned you. Where do you need encouragement in your life today? Maybe you know someone who does. It could mean an interruption or an investment. But it always means investing in relationships that strengthens the life of Christ in you and I others. Barnabas was one man whose confidence was not in himself, but in Christ’s Spirit indwelling in him. Maybe you are that man or woman for today. It only takes a moment….
“Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this, just keep on doing it.” 1 Thes. 5:11 The Message
Ken Chester: Grace-Gripped is sent M-F to Grace Infecters following Jesus. (Kchesterp1@gmail.com)