Thursday, July 9, 2015

Encouragement and the Holy Spirit

Chuckle: A young couple invited their elderly pastor for Sunday dinner. While they were in the kitchen preparing the meal, the minister asked their son what they were having. "Goat," the little boy replied. "Goat?" replied the startled man of the cloth, "Are you sure about that?" "Yep," said the youngster. "I heard Dad say to Mom, 'Today is just as good as any to have the old goat for dinner.'"
Quote: “There are high spots in all of our lives and most of them have come about through encouragement from someone else."Unknown source 
    "But the Counselor (Helper), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of every thing I have said to you" (John 14:26 NIV)
We have just completed three lessons on being an encourager. After reflection, I have one more truth to share with you on this subject. The Greek word for "encouragement" in Hebrews 10:25 NIV is from the same Greek word used for the "Holy Spirit" in John 14:26. In each case it means "helper." The word literally means "one called along side to be our companion and to help us."
Being an encourager is as close as we can come to doing the work of the Holy Spirit. What a thrilling blessing it is to know we have been called along side someone to help them. If all of us could grasp the significance of being an encourager, there's no limit to what God could do through us to stimulate one another as Christians -- what we could accomplish for our Lord.
Being an encourager to others is among the highest and most important privileges any of us can have. It is easy to pour cold water on someone's enthusiasm, excitement, and optimism. It is easy to discourage others and the world is full of discouragers. But, we have a Christian responsibility to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a person on his or her feet.
Any of us can be an encourager if we have allowed God to put in our hearts just an extra measure of love, concern, and understanding. God will give you the skills you need. However, it does take a large measure of compassion and commitment to be an encourager. A brother or sister may be withering on the vine spiritually and emotionally for lack of affirmation and encouragement. They may be suffering from feelings of loneliness, inadequacy, and worthlessness. Feelings of worth are fostered by encouragement.
Some need encouragement to attend church with us. After all, God instructs us as to its value. "Let us not give up meeting . . . but let us encourage one another. . . ." (Hebrews 10:25 NIV). Those who have fallen out of the fellowship need someone to show them the way back -- to encourage them. You can be the Holy Spirit's mouthpiece to lift the spirits of those who need someone to care. Please join me in praying that God will direct our paths to someone who needs encouragement; and that He will give us the courage and concern to meet that need.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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