A Word of Encouragement
by Noah Hefley
September 19, 2020
This past Sunday I preached the message “A Great Encouragement.” Now I want to share an additional word on the subject of encouragement. It is this: The Bible encourages us to be encouragers of one another. In fact, the Bible encourages each one of us to be encouragers of the rest of us. It is that pervasive of concept. So this is not a calling for some of us but for all of us. It is something we can all do and should all do. And, yes, it’s a responsibility for which we all have the ability. This is not a matter of giftedness, but of obedience. It is a matter of love. We are to be encouragers!
The New Testament teaches us, “Let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Admittedly, this may not always be easy, but it’s necessary. One pressing reason why we must obey this teaching of scripture is because people become easily discouraged and they need to be encouraged. People are like tires, they need pumping up every so often. Since people fall prey easily to discouragement, love dictates that we support them with encouragement.
Jesus loved people in such a way. He encouraged them and gave them hope. When Jesus looked at others, He looked for the good that could come from them. He did not look to detect the worst in them but to reclaim the best in them. He saw beyond what they were to what they could become. No wonder crowds were always drawn to Him. People are attracted to an encourager. When we have the love of Jesus, we will be encouragers. When the love of Christ constrains us, selfishness will not contain us. We will reach others as encouragers.
How do we go about it? We do so—
* In the things we say.
This includes words of sincere appreciation and positive affirmation. It is well-placed words of thanks, praise, and cheer. Sadly, some people love sticking pins in other people’s balloons by the things they say. But the Bible says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29). Choose words and use words to bless others!
* In the things we do.
When we say we love someone but our actions betray what we say, then our words lose their power and our lives their influence. Our words must translate into actions if they are to have meaning. Remember the words of James: “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2:15-16)
So what can we do? Be there and show support, stand by your friend in need. Provide help and assistance to meet the need if God graces you with the ability.
Together, a well-placed word and a well-timed action can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Try it this week: A phone call, card, e-message, a conversation, a friendly smile (though they may not see it with your mask), a covered dish, a special gift, and an offer of practical help, are only a few ways to share and show encouragement. This I encourage you to do and say…
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