THURSDAY, JANUARY 11
“When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.”
Acts 11:23-24 ESV
A LITTLE PUSH
A wealthy businessman hosted a spectacular party in which he had filled his swimming pool with sharks, barracuda, and other assorted dangerous fish. He announced to his guests that he would like to challenge any of them to try swimming across the pool, and he would offer a first prize of either a new home in the mountains, a trip around the world for two, or a piece of his business. No sooner had he made the announcement than there was a splash and a man swam rapidly across the infested waters and bounded up out on the other side. The millionaire said to the dripping man, “That was a stunning performance. What prize do you want?” He answered angrily, “Right now I really don’t care about the prize. I just want to get the name of the person who pushed me in.”
Every once in a while, we need a little push. This is because we are often tempted to drift when we feel weak. Yesterday, we looked at how God sent Barnabas to encourage the Christians in Antioch. Acts 11:23-24 tells us he encouraged them to be faithful to God and to live with purpose.
Another great thing about Barnabas was he celebrated the times where he had already seen God’s grace at work in their lives. At the same time he was able to exhort the Christians. That is a goal we can all strive for. Learning how to love and celebrate others while we challenge them. Pastor Hadden Robinson used to say, “We should give our kids ten “ada boys” for every one “you jerk.”
Is there someone in your life who needs a push? Ask God to show you where His grace is already at work in their lives and figure out a way to celebrate that work with them. Ask God to tell you how He wants you to give them the push they need to stay faithful to Him and His purpose for their life.