Monday, July 6, 2015

Encourage Someone Today

Chuckle: (child's prayer): "Dear God, I like the story about Noah the best of all of them. You really made up some good ones. I like walking on water, too." Glenn
Quote: “We live by encouragement and die without it - slowly, sadly, angrily.” --Celeste Holm
    "And let us consider how we may spur (stimulate) one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another. . . ." (Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV).
Today, there may be issues in your life that cause you to need a pat on the back, an understanding hug, a knowing look, or a word of encouragement. You may feel as if the good things you do for others go unnoticed and unappreciated. We all experience these kinds of feelings and needs from time to time. And when we do, isn't it wonderful to have someone sensitive to our needs who responds with the right gesture at just the right time?
How would you define the word "encouragement?" It seems to me that it is something we do that inspires others to have renewed courage, spirit, or hope. By encouraging someone, we stimulate and affirm him/her as a person of value. It's important to note the distinction between appreciation and affirmation. Appreciation is expressed as a result of something accomplished. However, affirmation brings encouragement by addressing the value of the person. Most of us need mass doses of affirmation and encouragement.
If I were to ask you why Christians assemble for a worship service, how would you answer? You might say: "to participate in life-changing worship through the singing of hymns, praying, giving tithes and offerings, hearing inspirational music, and finally, listening to a helpful sermon." Although these answers are accurate, there is another important reason which should be included. Our Scripture passage will help us to discover that reason -- to encourage one another.
In the early church, persecution was prevalent and martyrdom was commonplace. As a result fear gripped the hearts of individual believers and whole congregations. Some defected, others drifted away to safety. A letter began to circulate among the Christian Jews addressing those who persevered and endured the persecution. Today, we know that letter as Hebrews. The writer understood the value of people coming together for corporate worship and fellowship. He warned them not to compromise their beliefs and then informed them of the importance of those times they spent together. He points out the following:
(1) Let us seriously consider how to stimulate one another (vs. 24) (2) Let us faithfully assemble ourselves together (vs. 25) and (3) Let us encourage one another (vs. 25) - the major point of this passage.
I read somewhere that "encouragement is like a peanut butter sandwich -- the more you spread it around, the better things stick together." Encouraging one another is a major responsibility of each Christian. Let's encourage someone today.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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