Don’t Forget The “E” Word!

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds . . .” (Hebrews 10:24. The “E” word is easily forgotten in this self-centered society. For example, did the one who organized those successful summer trips from reservations to excursions; packing, and unpacking ever hear it? And what about when the knock at the door comes, and upon opening it we’re greeted with, “Hi, it’s me, Mr. Holiday”. Again, will those working tirelessly behind the lines hustling and bustling creating an atmosphere of thanksgiving, joy, and hope by cooking, wrapping, and decorating ever know the “E” word (s)? Barnabas, an apostle, lived as one of Jesus’ great witnesses in sharing Christ. But he excelled through using the mysterious “E” words extensively: Encouragement! (Even his name is translated as Son of Encouragement). As Dr. Jeremiah said, “Barnabas gave Paul his start, pulled Mark out of his failures, provided funds for the Early Church, and cheered everyone busy in the Lord’s work.” (July Devotion 2023). However, Barnabas, and many of his efforts, are not all recorded like the other apostles. He quietly and faithfully fulfilled God’s command to: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up,” (1 Thessalonians 5:11), whenever and wherever he could! Truly the “E” word is one of the most miraculous healers of a downtrodden heart. And it isn’t the size, but the simple words or actions: a pat on the back; offering help; or saying, ‘hey you’re doing great,’ (Doing this to those at the window on a drive-through, works wonders!), making a call, or sending notes etc. And like the results of Barnabas’ efforts, ours too, will keep giving and giving like ripples in a pond from one pebble of Encouragement.”