We need to express gratitude and worship to keep growing into strong and mature believers. One of the great challenges we face is getting from a troubled heart to a heart full of praise. The Psalms can help us make that transition.
The child learns to speak because his father speaks to him. He learns the speech of his father. So we learn to speak to God because God has spoken to us and speaks to us. By means of the speech of the Father in heaven his children learn to speak with him. Repeating God’s own words after him, we begin to pray to him. — Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1906-1945, in Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible
In Acts 11 we see three types of subject matter that need to be communicated by God’s servants.
11:20 preaching euaggelízō to announce good news, “evangelize”. This is to unbelievers. They really just need to hear the gospel. Until they grasp that nothing else really matters very much.
11:23 encouragingparakaléō to call alongside, exhort, admonish Related to parakletos, a title used of both Jesus and the Holy Spirit. (See John 14:16, 15:26, 16:7 and 1 John 2:1) This is especially to new believers. They need to go beyond the gospel itself and hear about commitment to Christ, growth and perseverance – so that they don’t see trials and fall away. More mature believers also still need this from time to time because, let’s face it, we get discouraged and need motivation.
11:26 teachingdidáskō (like “didactic”) to impart instruction, explain or expound a thing, instill doctrine. This is educating Christians about God and the Christian life, communicating all that God has revealed to us – from A to Z, Alpha to Omega, the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation, the Contents to the Maps. Teaching nourishes and matures a church. It is sorely needed in the church today. Many Christians are ignorant of the Scriptures and are therefore weak in their faith (Romans 10:17). We their pastors need to feed it to them.