Speaking words that truly encourage
Acts 13:15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the synagogue rulers sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak.”
So as there service was coming to the end, the team as guests of the synagogue were invited to speak as was their custom.
A message of encouragement is what they hoped for and what they were used to.
They are a people oppressed by their enemy, the Romans.
They long for freedom, for the Messiah to come.
That’s why they ask for encouragement.
There is an expectation that the guests would say similar things to what they always hear.
But this is Paul! His encouragement will come in a different package than they usually got.
Using the Law and then through the messages from the Prophets Paul will clearly lay out in his sermon the forgiveness of sins by Jesus is now available. It is going to stir up the whole city and will cause major problems for the religious leaders
Sometimes what is needed is not a pat on the back, a sympathetic shoulder to cry on, we need a hard word, a revelatory word, something spoken that hasn’t been said before, we need outside of the box thinking.
We need the encouragement that will move us out of a position we may be stuck in.
We need the encouragement to think the opposite.
We need the encouragement to dare to believe in the face of opposition that something just maybe true!
This Advent if given an opportunity to speak then do so with an encouragement that changes lives.