Do you ever feel like you are not “doing” enough for the Lord? That all you do is sit in the pew each week?
Do you ever get stuck feeling that you have to do something grandiose to really serve the Lord?
Do you ever wonder if your life is reflecting a life shining Christ’s reflection in the things you do or the way you live?
I believe that every moment is a moment to share Christ with others. Yes, the simple little ways we share Christ count just as much as being a missionary to a foreign country!
What is something I believe we can ALL extend daily to others that is important in the Lord’s eyes?
A quick google search yields these definitions:
–the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.
–persuasion to do or to continue something.
–the act of trying to stimulate the development of an activity, state, or belief.
Read and reflect on these three different Bible passages that each refer to ENCOURAGEMENT.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-14 (ESV)
9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (CEV)
24 We should keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things. 25 Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord’s coming is getting closer.
Hebrews 3:12-13 (CEV)
12 My friends, watch out! Don’t let evil thoughts or doubts make any of you turn from the living God. 13 You must encourage one another each day. And you must keep on while there is still a time that can be called “today.” If you don’t, then sin may fool some of you and make you stubborn.
What do we learn from these Bible passages about encouragement that we can apply to our lives?
It is vital that we…
— encourage others to continue to live for the Lord
— encourage those that might be lacking courage or be timid
— encourage others to be thoughtful and help others to reach their potential
–encourage others to continue to worship together and keep growing in faith
–encourage others to turn from evil and not sin
–encourage others to have faith; not doubt
Wow…what an honor and privilege it is to be able to encourage others in their walk with the Lord on this earth! God has entrusted us with that responsibility as His child.
Now do you agree that encouragement is something we can ALL extend daily to at least one person?
Have you been the recipient of some encouragement from others that has made a difference in your life?
My faith walk has been encouraged through some simple acts of kindness that people might not even realize the impact their gesture has had on my life. God can use the simplest of actions to encourage us.
Maybe in my sharing, it will spark you to recall ways you have been encouraged in your life by another.
One day I was at church, and afterwards was spending more time in prayer with my eyes closed. Suddenly, I felt a lady come from behind me, and simply put her arms around my shoulders to hug me. She did not say a word. The Lord used that moment to really bless me and minister to me about a situation that looked so hopeless. It was quite powerful to actually see the way things turned out.
Another time a friend spoke a few simple words of affirmation about a situation saying “Don’t give up hope.” My human eyes and way of thinking thought that things would not work out favorably. I tried to hold on to those words and really have faith this time. Much to my surprise and thankfulness God did do what I thought was impossible!
The other day at church a lady, who actually is the same one that gave me the hug that I referenced above, and I exchanged hugs as she was leaving. She whispered in my ear, “Thank you for sending me your writings. They always come at just the right time.” I couldn’t help but thank the Lord for Him working, inspiring and leading me to help spread His love and goodness.
It was such an encouragement to me one day when a friend said to me, “one of the biggest compliments we can pay each other is to tell someone they remind us of Christ. So, I just want to let you know that today. I see Christ in you.”
Can you think of ways your life has been encouraged by another’s words or gesture? Would you please share in the comment section below? It truly is a blessing to see the different ways the Lord uses others in our lives.
I have a challenge for you this week! Are you up for it?
The challenge is to be more aware of and consciously think about encouraging at least one person daily!
What are some other specific ways you might encourage people?
Share with someone a strength that you see in their character.
Thank someone for their spiritual gift or talent that your life was blessed by.
If you see a friend starting to err on the side of sin, gently point out the error of their way.
When you see someone going through a rough patch in their life, be there to listen and offer words of affirmation.
If you see a friend trying to make positive changes in their life, be sure to affirm them and spur them on to continue on that path.
Tell people how they have encouraged you in your life. It might just be one simple statement that they make that God used to enrich and encourage you.
Yes, encouraging another is something we can ALL do! Ready, set, go ENCOURAGE!!
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. –Romans 15:5-6 (NIV)