Kelsey is our administrative assistant for the Dallas Seminary Doctor of Ministries Department. After we completed the resident portion of our class on The Primacy of the Minister’s Spiritual Life and she had tabulated the evaluations of the students, she sent me the results. Here are a few of the comments the students made:
“This is my 96th graduate hour. This was the best class I have ever experienced. Transformed my life and ministry. This course forced me to take a hard look at the difference between my profession and my passion for Christ. “
“The candid class discussions were extremely moving and beneficial.”
“I absolutely loved the class. Thank you for pushing us in our thoughts and viewpoints. This class was a good spiritual salve for me in a hurting time. Thank you!”
Whether it’s social media or the national media we’ve all witnessed the power of words and actions to enflame. After teaching forty hours in a five-day period, Kelsey’s report from my students demonstrated to me the power of words to encourage.
One of my favorite leaders in the first century church is a man who was so encouraging it became his name. Here’s what Dr. Luke had to say as he introduced this good character into the Story of the beginning of the Church.
“Now Joseph, the one who is called Barnabas by the Apostles (translated it means ‘son of encouragement’), was a Levite from Cyprus. Owning some land, he sold it and brought the money from the sale and placed it at the feet of the Apostles.” Acts 4:36-37
Barnabas expressed his encouragement in the concrete act of selling some of his land so that needy believers in the Jerusalem Church could have their needs met. Acts will have a lot more to say about this “Son of Encouragement,” but it all begins with his self-sacrifice to meet needs.
LORD, thanks for the strength that flowed to me from both Kelsey and my students. There is power in encouragement. Help me to follow Barnabas and his example by encouraging others today.
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