by Jenny Gregory
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMNews) – “We all need encouragers in our lives, but not only do we need encouragers, we need to be encouragers,” said Rev. Larry Wynn, the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Vice President of Church Revitalization & Evangelism at Truett-McConnell’s weekly chapel service, October 1.
“How can you be an encourager?” Wynn asked while emphasizing the necessity of encouragement in the Christians life.
Reading from Acts 11, he shared how Barnabas was an encourager by nature but “when he met Jesus Christ, it made him even a greater encourager.”
He then referenced the woman at the well in John chapter 4 saying, “No one wanted to have anything to do with her.” As Christians, Wynn noted how “we pick and choose who we’re going to love, we pick and choose who we’re going to except but Jesus Christ loved all people. He was an encourager.”
“Although the woman at the well was living in sin and even though Jesus did not approve of that behavior, at the same time, He loved her and before she left that well, she had a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Recalling his acceptance of Christ and his journey with Him thus far, Wynn emphasized the personal encourager Christ has been to him.
When his nine year old daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor, unsure of her future and outcome of the diagnosis, Wynn knew God’s presence: “I felt the arms of God wrap around me…telling me ‘no matter what happens, I am with you and I will lift you up and I will hold you up.’ Guys, everyone needs an Encourager like that.”
He then referenced the sinful life of Paul, who even after accepting Jesus Christ, people didn’t believe his change. Wynn explained he too had skeptics who discouraged his decision to trust Christ, saying “this will wear off; it won’t last long.”
While Paul struggled to find acceptance, Wynn shared how Barnabas came into his life. “When Barnabas showed up, that did more for Paul,” adding that “an encourager walks in when everybody walks out.”
Encouragers also bring out the best, Wynn said. Referencing out several men who’ve been encouragers in his own life, he asked: “Who is that in your life? Who is it in your life today that you need to be that?”
Lastly, Wynn said “encouragers make a difference.” Citing verses 27-30, he shared how Barnabas and Paul were always on mission for God which is evident by their delivering of food and supplies to Christians who were struggling financially.
“God calls us all to be on mission for Him,” Wynn said. “Whether it’s on a short term mission trip or if it’s a calling in the classroom, in Kenya, Muldova, Canada, New York City or Cleveland, Georgia, we need to be on mission for God because that’s what encouragers do,” he said. “What’s God calling you to do?”
Jenny Gregory is the Content Manager at Truett-McConnell College.
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