The book of Acts is the action packed story of the early Church, the boldness of the those who had been impacted by Jesus Christ and a lesson to us today about the significance of encouraging others in our Christian circles.
One of the things I have always really enjoyed about Acts is Pauls conversion. The dude was hell-bent on destroying the Church, until he had a run in with Jesus, which completely turned Pauls life upside down. What impacted me most this time around was 2 people that God used to interact with Paul early on in his journey.
Ananias was a Jesus follower whom God used to restore Pauls sight (Acts 9:15), and Barnabas was a guy who went out of his way to advocate for Paul when he rocked up to Jerusalem wanting to join the other disciples. (Acts 9:27) What’s amazing about these two blokes is that they made choices to get involved in Pauls story, which meant that Paul was able to find his place and make a significant contribution to the church and our Bible as we read it today.
As I think about my own faith journey over the last 18 years, I am reminded of all the awesome people who God used to speak into the seasons I was in, stood beside me when I was “blind” and introduced me to a whole range of people who would go on to shape who I am today. Who knows where I would be if those people had decided to take the day off.
What about you, take a moment and think about the people in your Christian circles or church communities who have intentionally spoken life into your situation over the years. People who have rallied to your side, made you feel welcome and walked with you for a awhile. Am I right in saying that we not only needed them, but their words and actions provoked us to want to take our relationship with Christ more seriously?
I have noticed that among the great socializers, well connected and fantastic encourages of the congregations that I have been a part of, there are many more who’s voices are not as loud, those who are not sure if they belong and others who are looking for ways they can contribute to the life of the Church. They need the Barnabas’s and Ananias’s to step out. They need us who are in better positions to speak, encourage and walk along side them into new seasons of growth.
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.
So will you join me in adding fuel to flames that God is wanting to use?