Sunday’s message was one of encouragement… we were challenged to encourage one another. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “So encourage one another and build each other up…”
In the Greek language the word encouragement means ‘to come along side’; literally, “to stand next to”. The contexts in the Bible when this word is used are contexts where a person or people are DIS-COURAGED. Encouragement is especially needed when “the ‘wind, to some degree, has been taken out of a person’s sails”. And encouragement is the act of “coming along side” of someone and doing something or saying something that helps to “re-inflate their sails”. “Encouragement is the oxygen of the soul.”
How to encourage one another…
1) With your words… (Ephesians 4:29, 1 Peter 5:12, 1 Thessalonians 4:18, Proverbs 18:21). Everyone can use some encouragement. With some people it will be obvious, with others, not so much… but we all can appreciate encouragement.
2) With your presence … (Romans 15:32, Hebrews 10:25, Lamentations 1:16, 2 Timothy 1:16-18). Sometimes just sitting with someone who is sick, discouraged, lonely, fearful, etc. may be enough wind in their sails to help them through another day. Don’t minimize these small acts of just being available.
3) With your help… (1 Corinthians 16:17-18, Acts 4:32-37). Chances are you can offer help to someone in ways that they could use the help. Maybe it’s helping your spouse or your child with something around the house. Or, maybe it’s intentionally going to someone’s home to lend a hand.
Challenge for the week:
Pray every morning for God to help you to be an encourager. Make it your challenge to keep track of one person each day this week that you have encouraged and how you did it. This will help you be more intentional in your encouragement.
Looking forward to the great testimonies of encouragement we will hear because of this intentionality!