Acts 11:22-24 (“Ministry of Encouragement”!)

27 Apr Acts 11:22-24 (“Ministry of Encouragement”!)

Let’s welcome God today with this Living In Faith Exchange (LIFE) Group devotion (archive, Facebook), based on Living Faith. Prove yourselves doers of the Word, and not merely hearers. James 1:22

They sent Barnabas [to go] to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart, for he was a good man, filled with the holy Spirit and faith. Acts 11:22-24 (full readings)

Living Faith snippets: “[Like Barnabas], what if we were to take up the “Ministry of Encouragement” today, purposely looking for what’s going right and taking time to affirm it? Can we open our eyes and hearts today to all the strengths and virtues present in ourselves, in others, in the workplace, in our community and country?” by Claire J. King

Pat nuggets:

* While stationed in Turkey (2000-2002), I visited this special church in Antioch (today’s verse & picture). Angi and I visited the tomb of Barnabas on the island of Cyprus. The stories in the Bible really happened…Christ really gave his life for our salvation…and God really loves each one of us!

* Art Horn shared, “Faith Sharing reminded me of the movie Letters to God; amazing movie that really inspired me. I highly recommend it to everyone to see!”
* Jean Noon shared, “Mother Teresa’s simple path began with silence: The fruit of silence is prayer. The fruit of prayer is faith. The fruit of faith is love. The fruit of love is service. The fruit of service is peace. I think this path is sequential; skipping won’t work! All these fruits begin with silence as a way to still the ego… mind and its chatter and its tendencies. Silence makes space for God’s perspective. Silence makes space for grace.” Mother Teresa’s book, The Simple Path, is a quick read…and filled with many growth opportunities.
* Sr. Francelle’s devotion: What do you do with the Bumps in life?

Faith Sharing: Let’s generously share the LIFE Group by forwarding devotions or using the Facebook “invite people” link.
* NEW: In what ways can we encourage each other to live out our faith each day? Please consider sharing faith comments (or “like” button) on the Facebook page, appreciated by many…thank you!

* Reality of abortion (images), #1 cause of death (23% of pregnancies). Expose this unjust peace, setting unborn/parents free.

Our Prayers: Those who pray together stay together, and close to God (footnotes). Peters family (JP), Prayer to end abortion.

Faith Quote: St. Anselm of Canterbury, “Nor do I seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand. For this too I believe, that unless I first believe, I shall not understand.” His motto was, “Faith Seeking Understanding.” He taught that faith and reason are not enemies…but the closest of friends. (shared by Stephanie Kemp)

Through Christ our Lord,
Phil 4:13

* Prayer: Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, changing us & helping others. “If you pray that God will move a mountain and He doesn’t, assume Christ wants you to climb it instead.”
* Fasting: Let’s fast from things that take our eyes off Jesus (selfishness, pornography, bitterness, criticalness, impatience, gossip, excessive video games, etc) and take on things that fix our eyes on Jesus (selflessness, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, patience, understanding, caring, helping, listening).
* Defend the unborn: ‘Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don’t stand back and let them die’ (Prov 24:11). ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you’ (Jer 1:5). ‘It is a great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish’ (Blessed Mother Teresa).
* Evangelization: Let’s make room for unbelievers (be a friend, make a friend, lead a friend to Christ) and perpetual re-evangelization of self and those near us, by way of daily prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of selfless love, mercy, and service (Matt 28:19).

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