Conversation Starters: Barnabas- Ongoing Encouragement
Posted by Karah
CONNECTION POINT: People can be encouraged by God’s love through Jesus.
THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: No one likes to go it alone. We want to know someone has our back or is standing with us. We carry out our responsibilities better when someone is encouraging us. In the Book of Acts, Barnabas was just such an encourager. He modeled for us how we can positively impact others through a Christ-centered lifestyle of encouragement.
Bible Character: Barnabas
1 Kings 17:8-24
LIFE POINT: No rain had fallen in a long time. God told Elijah that it would not rain for a long time. God told Elijah to go to a town. There, a woman would give him food and water. When Elijah got to the town, a woman was gathering sticks to build a fire. “Would you bring me some water?” Elijah asked. “And please bring me a piece of bread, too.” The woman said, “I only have a little bit of flour and oil. I was going to make bread for my son and myself.” Elijah said, “Go home and make some bread for me. Then make some bread for you and your son. You will have enough flour and oil until God sends rain.” Every day the woman made bread for Elijah, herself, and her son. The flour and oil were not used up, just as Elijah had said. God took care of Elijah, the woman, and her son.
LIVE IT OUT: Review the Bible story with your child. Talk about ways God cares for your family. Help your child find magazine or catalog pictures of things God provides and glue them to a paper. Thank God for His care.
1 Kings 17:8-24
LIFE POINT: God told Elijah to go to the city. “I told a widow there to take care of you,” God said. Elijah stood by the city gate. He saw the widow. She was picking up sticks of wood. He called to her. “Please give me some water and bread.” The woman said, “I have nothing baked. I have only a little flour and oil. I am getting sticks to make a fire. Then I will bake our food. Then we will die.” Elijah said, “Don’t be afraid. Do what you planned, but first give me a little bread. God said that your flour jar will not get empty. Your oil jug will not run dry until God sends rain.” The widow did what Elijah told her to do. Then she and those in her house had food for many days. The flour jar did not get empty. The oil jar did not run dry. God kept His promise.
LIVE IT OUT: Talk about ways God cares for your family and write them down on paper. After each statement write the words of Psalm 86:15 to create a litany. Read the litany during a family worship time.
Acts 4:36-37; 9:26-27; 11:19-26
THE POINT: Christ-centered living chooses encouragement, not criticism.
• What nicknames have you been called over the years?
• How did Barnabas’s actions in this passage encourage others?
• Who has encouraged your spiritual growth over the years?
• Why is encouragement a necessary element in the church?
Discuss the following quote:
“I would go into the deeps a hundred times to cheer a downcast spirit: it is good for me to have been afflicted that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary.” ¹ —Charles Spurgeon
LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Ask your student if there are any areas in which he or she needs encouragement. Then determine if there is a specific prayer that your student can pray each day to gather encouragement by forming a deeper relationship with Christ.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss with your student ways that your family can use your talents, skills, and resources to encourage others.
• CULTURE: Our world is not known as being a place that encourages others. How can your family stand against the stream by acting as encouragers?
¹. Charles Spurgeon, The Soul Winner: How to Lead Sinners to the Saviour (New York: Scripture Press, 2015).