In the concluding part of our series on Matt 10:8, whereby a Christian is instructed to give freely a loving service for God’s glory and for the benefit of those around him, today we come to a Ministry which may not fetch us universal applause but is guaranteed to delight the Lord:
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (I Thess 5:11)
Besides the intercessory prayer ministry, if there is one more ministry which does not depend on any special talent barring pristine love for God and the person in need then it is one of encouragement. Raise your hands, those who know about a famous Joseph of the New Testament. No brainer really for some folks. Joseph, the husband of Mary would be the reply of most. No! In the early Church, there was one Joseph (a Levite from Cyprus) who so personified encouragement in his spiritual walk that the Apostles named him as Barnabas (Acts 4:36-37) meaning … “Son of Encouragement”…yes, the same Barnabas who accompanied the Apostle Paul in the historic first missionary Journey, taking the Gospel to the heartland of Asia Minor (Acts 13-14).
Even in Antioch, where the disciples were first called Christians (Acts 11:26), Barnabas on a special assignment (from Jerusalem Church) was doing what came to him naturally from a heart full of love and Holy Spirit (another name for the Holy Spirit, besides others, is “an encourager” See John 14:16-17/John 15:26)…Let the Scripture take over:
“…he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord. Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And many people were brought to the Lord.” (Acts 11:23-24)
Now how’s that for living up to your name? By the way, going by our disposition, what would be the name our friends both in and outside the Church would give to us? A disgruntled discourager or an enthusiastic encourager?
Wherever the good Lord has placed you in His Sovereign wisdom, even if it were Microsoft…you can surely be a CEO there…Chief “Encouraging” Officer.
Speaking of proud Hyderabad, ever wondered what prompted the State Government of Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad is its capital) to name its pioneering free ambulance services as 108*? A name which has since been replicated in other States of India too like Goa, Gujarat, Odisha etc? The answer is: Matthew 10:8, Ladies and Gentlemen: “…Freely give, as you have freely received.”
Finally folks wherever the good Lord has placed you in His Sovereign wisdom, even if it were Microsoft…you can surely be a CEO there for free…
Chief Evangelistic Officer (inviting people to come to Christ)
Chief Edifying Officer (Strengthening the Body of Christ, if your call is Pastoral)
Chief Exonerating Officer (Letting go of the resentment caused by some)
Chief Entreating Officer (Interceding for those in need)
Chief Encouraging Officer (Inspiring and comforting fellow sojourners in and outside the Church)
OK, by His Grace alone (all glory to Him and Him alone)…Yours truly was inspired to pen this article for free…were you edified? Meanwhile Bravo Sathya…
Prayer: Father, enable us at all times to be encouragers, offering comfort to all those in need in whatever way possible. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
*My mom and our family are deeply grateful for the services of Ambulance 108 for in Nov 2010, when she suffered a stroke, the good Lord gave me the presence of mind to call it immediately, so that with its help, we were able to rush her to nearby hospital, where prompt medical attention saved her life.
(Please click here for the rest of the Free…Free…Free Series.)