Pastor’s Desk April 6th

Scripture Passage:  “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!”  Proverbs 15:23     “The heart of the righteous studies to answer: but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.”   Proverbs 15:28

Dear Friends,

     It is a wonderful thing to be an encourager.  Barnabas’ name was actually Joseph, but he was such a wonderful person they addressed him by his nickname instead.  Barnabas was also a very positive person.  When everyone else was drawing away from Saul the new convert, Barnabas went looking for him.  During these early years he personally vouched for Saul’s spiritual regeneration and associated with him when it was unpopular to do so.    Barnabas lined up preaching engagements as well as ministering with him at Antioch and Paul’s first missionary journey.  He was a friend, when Saul needed one the most.  I find it interesting that he did not always agree with Paul.  When Paul reacted harshly against John Mark for deserting during the first missionary journey, Barnabas took in consideration that John Mark was young and gave him a second chance.  It took years for Paul to come around, but in the end the relationship with John Mark was restored.  I cannot help but think that Barnabas had a positive influence on Saul the Pharisee and helped him become Paul the loving Apostle and Missionary. 

     There are people I love to be around.  There are others I dread to see come.  The difference is their personality and attitude.  There are some of my friends and family members who are extremely hard workers, proficient at their jobs, but never have a kind or encouraging word. People shun them, not because they are a bad person, but because everything they say is negative.  On the other hand, there are those who just naturally have a positive attitude. They have a lot of friends and people are drawn to them like a magnet.  They are not fake or hypocritical in their words and actions so their likeability is genuine.  They seem to know exactly what to say to lift a person up and often leave them with a smile on their face.  Their words bring joy and encouragement to the hearers and comfort to the troubled heart.  The words they speak are like words spoken in due season. 

     Solomon says that a righteous man studies to answer.  He thinks through his words and their impact before he speaks.  Words that are hurtful or destructive, he refrains from.  Words that are untrue or unsubstantiated, he refuses to speak.  When he does speak, everyone listens because he has credibility.  He does not need profanity or yelling to emphasize his point nor does he have to be center stage.  His soft answer defuses situations and his lips disperse knowledge.  Peter said that we also “Need to be ready always to give an answer to every man that ask you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”    I Peter 3:15   Nothing takes the place of preparation, whether it be to speak before an audience or witness to a lost person.  Study out what you are going to say and write it down.  Rehearse your words carefully and ask God to anoint your lips with His spirit and your heart with His love. The result will be that your words will have impact and your actions will produce a positive conclusion. If the opposite is true, no one will listen to what you have to say.  When in doubt, say nothing at all.

In Christ,

Pastor Johnny