|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Writing and Reading”
Our Bible verse for today: “Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus by birth, the one the apostles called Barnabas (which is translated Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned, brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.” Acts 4:36-37 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Good books are a great source of encouragement.”
Barnabas is one of my favorite characters in the New Testament. His real name was Joseph but the disciples gave him the nickname Barnabas, which means “Son of Encouragement”. Barnabas was an encourager by nature. In the scene depicted in Acts 4:36-37 we find him encouraging the disciples and the rest of the church family by making a generous donation to help those in the church who were in need. Later, in Acts chapter eleven, we find him going to Antioch to help and encourage the Christians in that city. Then he goes to Tarsus to find Paul and to draw him into further ministry. Then he spends years assisting Paul in his ministry. And then he spends more years serving as a mentor to his young cousin John Mark.
Encouragement is an important aspect of life in the family of God and Barnabas is the patron saint for the ministry of encouragement. He was an encourager in life, and he has continued to be a great encourager by his legacy.
Many people are like Barnabas, they are encouragers by nature and we should thank God for them. Good Christian books serve to encourage and inspire us too, and that’s one of the reasons I’ve always loved reading them and sharing them with others. Back in the 1990s Linda and I actually owned a book company which we called “The Barnabas Book Company”. Our slogan was “Encouraging books that will change your life”. We held book fairs in churches and at Christian schools as well as at special events, and we even set up in flea markets. It was great fun. We loved sharing good books with others. Unfortunately, I was a terrible businessman. I was so eager for people to read our books that I probably gave away more than I sold.
For thousands of years the Holy Spirit has been using the ministry of Christian writers to lift up, strengthen, and encourage Christians by means of good Christian literature. Good books are a great source of encouragement and therefore I urge you to develop the habit of daily reading.
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