Son of Encouragement or Barry Bitterness?

 As we have been going thru the book of Acts we have noticed a church that was together.  Loving and serving and sharing with one another in Jesus.  They took care of one another, Spiritually, Emotionally, Physically—they were of one accord, one heart and one soul; and great grace and great power was upon them and working through them.

In chapter 4:32-35 we read, “Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.”

And in the center of this rocking church we get introduced to a man by the name of Barnabas. (V:36) Barnabas – son of encouragement.  What a name!  What a statement!  And the amazing thing is that the Holy Spirit illustrates what was going on in the church by an individual.  A person just like me and you.  Or is he?  This verse provokes us to ask a question, or at least it should.  

How would people describe you? What’s your name? How do people see you?

What do people call you?

Do they call you Encourager?  Son of encouragement? Precious saint?  Prayer warrior?  Man of the word? Giver, loving, faithful, family man, holy, pure, righteous, man or women of God, great father, mighty man of God. Or would they call you whiner, complainer, self-focused, sad, grumbler, backstabber – GRUMPY, angry man, wrathful man, Barry Bitterness, unforgiving, lustful, Dr. Dissension, Harry Heretic, Eddy Envy, taker, Jerry Jealous, The Grinch , poor Eeyore – SCROOGE? How do people see you?  Servant?  Witness in the community?  A disciple or a follower of Jesus?

As Christians our names should match the character of Jesus.  People should look at us and see Christ in us.  The more we allow the Holy Spirit to direct our lives, and as we submit our lives to Him, the more we become like Him.  And the best part?  Great grace and great power fill our lives.  And people see Jesus shining through us, our families grow in Christ and become healthy, our marriages become powerful, our lives become fruitful and useful, and our name becomes great. We begin to experience great grace and great power in our lives and we bless the Savior who has done so much for us.  Not because of us but because of Him shining through us. Who doesn’t want that?

Change your name and begin to live, and leave, a legacy for Jesus!


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