After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.” [Acts 13:15]
After reading from the Law and the Prophets, the ruler of the synagogue urges Paul to share words of encouragement with all those gathered. No doubt they had heard of Paul and his ministry, now they want to hear for themselves. And so Paul goes on to talk about Jesus, who was crucified and raised from the dead. Paul shares that through this man (Jesus) there is forgiveness of sins and freedom from that which the Law of Moses could not free you.
Upon hearing Paul’s words of encouragement and the Good News they begged him to stay and say these things again the next day. And why wouldn’t they? When you hear Good News you just can’t get enough of it.
Christian, do you really know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you believe that your sins have been forgiven through faith in Jesus? Do you cling to the hope of the resurrection? I mean, do you really? Does this excite you and give you encouragement? Then don’t wait for people to find you and ask you to share words of encouragement, because chances are they won’t. If the Good News is really Good News then share words of encouragement without being asked.
And sometimes you don’t need to start out saying words. Sometimes your life is enough to get people’s attention. But don’t let that be enough for you. Don’t simply do things for others but also say words. Paul writes in Romans that faith comes through hearing (not seeing alone). Faith comes through words (not actions alone). Faith comes through YOU speaking words so therefore, do so without being asked.
But what am I saying, if Jesus is the Word of Life; I mean really the Word of Life for you, then you are probably already doing what I have said. If Jesus is not the Word of Life for you then I pray that the Holy Spirit infects your hearts with hope and leads you to faith in Jesus as your Savior.
And once you have said these words of encouragement, say them again and again because if people are anything like me, you just can’t get enough of the good stuff.
So in the words of TobyMac from his hit song Speak Life:
So speak Life, speak Life.
To the deadest darkest night.
Speak life, speak Life.
When the sun won’t shine and you don’t know why.
Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted;
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope,
You speak love, you speak…
You speak Life
Speak life and praise God always and forever. Amen.
The Pastor -|—