Daughters of Encouragement
The Bible tells us, in Acts 4:36, of a man named Joseph who was renamed by the apostles.
Thus Joseph, who was called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement . . .
Son of Encouragement – what a nickname! This verse goes on to tell us that Barnabas sold a piece of land and gave all
the money to the apostles to help needy in the church. The next time we hear of Barnabas is in Acts 9:27 when he was willing
to defend a new convert named Saul (the persecutor of Christians). In Acts 11, he is sent to Antioch to encourage the Christians.
There he brought Saul and the two spent a year in Antioch preaching the gospel and building up the church. In Acts 11:29-30
Barnabas and Saul are asked to take relief funds to Judea to aid with the famine. Acts 13 finds Barnabas setting out on a
missionary journey with Saul. Acts 15 shows us Barnabas encouraging the young man John Mark who had once deserted him.
Where would we be without the encouragement provided by Barnabas? Without the moneys he provided to the church in Judea many
would have starved. Without his encouragement of Saul – who became the apostle Paul – most of the churches of
Asia would have never existed and we would be missing over half of the New Testament. Without his encouragement of John Mark,
we would be missing one of the gospels and Paul would have been without help in Rome (II Timothy 4:11). A little encouragement
certainly goes a long way!
But what does this have to do with women today – nearly 2000 years after Joseph was nicknamed “Son of Encouragement”?
It reminds us that little acts of encouragement can have a BIG impact. I doubt that Barnabas realized how important Saul
would be to the spread of the gospel when he presented Saul to the apostles in Jerusalem. We may never know what great things
that person whom you encourage may go on to do. So don’t forget to offer a kind word to the difficult co-worker; leave
a nice tip for the struggling; single mother who serves at your favorite restaurant; give a smile and patience to the stressed-out
cashier at the grocery store; spend a little time with that elderly neighbor or offer help to the young mother with the crying
child. You never know what the consequences may be. Imagine what the world would be like if we were all “Daughters
of Encouragement”! Shall we give it a try?!?
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My Favorite Bible
Through the years, I have owned quite a few Bibles. I have a two shelves in my office containing nothing but Bibles. They
differ in size, translation, and binding. But of all the Bibles I own, one is particularly treasured by me. It is a little
black Red Letter New Testament (3"x4.5") that I have had for the past 39 years. You've seen some like it before. It's the
kind of Bible given to little children, and it is small enough for them to hold it in their little hands. The print in this
Bible is just about too small to read. There are no study notes in it. And it only contains the New Testament. So what
makes this Bible so special to me? Allow me to read the inscription on the first page:
"This New Testament is being presented to Steve Higginbotham for being the first in his Bible Study class to
be able to say from memory all the 66 books of the Bible. Keep up the Good Work. God Bless you always.
Your Bible Class Teachers,
Mrs. Hester Shultz & Miss Sandy Wilson
Isn't it amazing the impact that a few words of encouragement can have on a person's life? I was just four-years-old when
this Bible was presented to me, but thirty-nine years later, I still treasure, and have this little Bible in my possession.
My guess is that Hester (who is now deceased) and Sandy have no memory of the presentation of this Bible, or the message
they inscribed in it. I'm sure they have no idea that something done so long ago, and something that cost so little, and
took only but a moment of their time, would be so treasured by the little boy to whom they presented it.
My point? There is life-time lasting power and influence in encouragement! What takes us only a moment to say or do, can
impact another person for the rest of his life. Be an encourager! Take the time and the little extra effort to compliment,
commend, and encourage another. Chances are, long after you've forgotten your words of kindness, they will be locked-up,
and cherished as a prize possession in the store room of someone's mind.
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Some Unusual Things for Which to be Thankful
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” —Ephesians
- Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward
- Be thankful when you don’t know ... it gives you the opportunity to learn.
- Be thankful for the difficult times … during those times you grow.
- Be thankful for limitations … they give you opportunities for improvement.
- Be thankful for a new challenge ... it will build strength and character.
- Be thankful for your mistakes … they will teach you valuable lessons.
- Be thankful when you’re weary … it means you’ve made a difference.
- Be thankful for the mess after a party … it means you have friends.
- Be thankful for the taxes you pay … it means you are employed.
- Be thankful for clothes that fit a little snug … it means you have plenty to eat.
- Be thankful for a shadow that watches you work ... it means you are out in the sunshine.
- Be thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing ... it means you
have a house.
- Be thankful for the spot you find at the far end of the parking lot ... it means you are capable of walking.
- Be thankful for all the complaining you hear about our government … it means we have freedom of speech.
- Be thankful for a huge heating bill … it means you are warm.
- Be thankful for the lady behind you in church service who sings off key … it means that you can hear.
- Be thankful for the piles of laundry and ironing … it means your loved ones are nearby.
- Be thankful for the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours… it means that you’re alive.
- Be thankful for weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day … it means you have been productive.
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