I am loved by God and led by the Spirit. I’m a new creation in Christ, an heir to the blessings of Abraham, and I have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. How do I know? It’s all in the Bible. Knowing who I am in Christ should be more than enough to keep me going, yet sometimes I desperately have need of tangible encouragement from someone who has some skin. Know what I mean?

Have you ever gotten an encouraging word at just the right moment? Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” What a beautiful treasure.

God has put people in my life at different times and places to give just the encouragement I have needed. Some have come and gone and some have stayed. Some live near to me and some are very far away. Others have been for a season and for a reason.

Acts 4:36 tells of a man named Joseph whom the apostles called Barnabas, which means “Son of Encouragement.” What a nickname. That sounds like a good kind of person to have around.

“Encourage one another” is listed numerous times in the Bible. Hebrews 3:13 even reminds us to “encourage one another daily.” Daily! Apparently we need this reminder. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone, yet we all need to hear something positive.

What opportunities do you have to make a difference for someone through your encouraging words? I run into people every day who could use a smile and a friendly word. But lately I have also been thinking about people from the past who might need a bit of refreshment. There’s the surgeon who allowed God to work through his hands and save our daughter’s life 17 years ago. I wonder what a nice note could do to brighten his day? Or what about the speech therapist who helped our son in amazing ways 15 years ago? They might be pleasantly surprised to hear how things are going now. I got a phone call once from a former student that left me smiling for days.

Is there someone currently in your life or a face from the past that God is putting on your heart? May I encourage you to take a moment to send a note or give a call. Be somebody’s Barnabas today. Apples of gold in settings of silver.

• Lisa Jisa and her family have been residents of Ahwatukee Foothills since 2000. Reach her at lisa.jisa@gmail.com.

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