There comes a time in a Believers life when we get lazy and apathetic about our Faith. We start thinking, “I’m saved, and that’s all that matters…” But the Lord doesn’t want us sitting back on our laurels, waiting to go to Heaven. We are to spur, implore, and occasionally give each other a pep talk to keep us all involved in the Lord’s work .
Admonishment needs to be done carefully and only after you’ve gained the right to do so. When we see someone going down the wrong path, we want to warn them, to alert them to possible consequences. But more importantly, we need to show them ways of correction. Because, admonishment just for the sake of lam-blasting someone is wrong if we can’t supply practical, sound judgment … wise words of correction…and hope.
Speaking comforting words to someone is much more than just consoling them with platitudes. Sometimes we need to be cheerleaders for God…reassuring and quieting fears – letting them know , “You can do this!” But also gently reminding them, that God is still in control and not to give up.
Barnabas not only had the spiritual gift of encouragement, but the nickname also. His mission and focus in life was to comfort and encourage others. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit as our Comforter…our Paraclete. Someone who comes up along side as a intercessor, advocate, encourager, and exhorter. To be a Barnabas, we need to be a Paraclete to others.
To be an uplifting influence in a person’s life isn’t what the world wants to do. No, rather the world wants to degrade, defame, and depreciate. So as Believers, we have to take on the task ourselves…being the hands and feet of Jesus, we must take His example and become that positive uplifting influence to all around. The world tears people down…we must build them back up.
The Gospel has been given to us totally, fully, and completely. We are to study, learn, believe, and defend it. We are not to add to it, delete from it, or alter the wonderful message of salvation.
Habakkuk’s name means “wrestler”…and throughout this book, he wrestles with the question of why God would let evil go unpunished. We could easily ask the very same question today. Why do violent, murderous people continue to prey on the innocent? Where is Your justice Lord? It’s an age-old question that humanity has struggled with forever, and may never fully understand.
Before you were in bondage…now you are free. Before you were subject to fear…now you are liberated from its grip. Before you were an orphan in the world…now you have been adopted into the Family of God.
What are you standing on? If you’re believing in the world’s standards and ideology, you’ll be disappointed and disillusioned. But if your trust and faith is in the one sure foundation of Jesus Christ…regardless of upheaval around, you will be established firmly in His care.