Don’t miss this month’s Discovering Victory Podcast. This month’s teacher is Dr. D.R. Hubbard sharing a powerful exposition from the book of Colossians. Check it out.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 states, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
I was blessed this week by some of the encouragement that I had received this week from a number of different sources. Have you ever experienced the power of encouragement or are you an encourager who when encouraging someone, you can just see the countenance on the other person change.
Well, in this week’s blog, what I want to do is to encourage you to be an encouragement. Look at the verse above, Paul is writing to the Church in Thessalonica, which had some folks discouraged because there were false teachers around telling them things, such as it don’t matter how you live your life, work isn’t important, and oh yeah, by the way, Jesus already came back so you might as well give up the Christian life.
Now, I want to tell you how you have encouraged me to continue on in my walk with Jesus this week. Some of you I know personally and others I do not, but a few weeks ago I asked Bill Welte how effective he thought my blogs were and I am guessing that he put word out to you guys who read the blogs to encourage those of us who are writing. There is great power in that because we live in a very discouraging society. Everywhere we look, sin is running rampant and holiness is hard to find. We need an encouraging word for one another, because encouragement is a fuel that stokes the fire in us.
In chapter 4, verse 18, Paul states these same words to the believers concerning the Lord’s return. Why does Paul want to encourage them? Because he knows, that the Christian life is a fight, a long race, and there are plenty of things along the way that can get us discouraged. False teachers, false beliefs, rebellious attitudes, sin, unwholesome desires, etc all wear on us. Life is hard, but the word of God, has given us the encouragement to keep in touch with one another and encourage each other to fight the good fight, to continue in the race, and not to lose heart.
There are times when I get on the grad page and notice that some folks put their struggles on it and the words of encouragement that you give each other all filled with hope and love. I was energized this week when a few of you reached out to me and encouraged me in what the LORD is doing in your life and how he used the blog that morning to encourage you walk. You know, when you get an email at 4:30am, from someone you do not know personally, who is in another country (Istanbul) and they share with you how that particular passage you blogged about was precious to them, I was lifted up. Then about an hour later I heard from a few more of you guys, it was great hearing from you. We might be the bloggers, but you are the ones we are thinking about when we blog. WE hope to be an encouragement to you, so that you won’t quit, that your faith, hope and love will increase more and more, and then finally, you will know Jesus Christ more and more in your life.
So, how you doing with encouraging those you know. You do not have to wait until someone is facing discouraging times to encourage them. Reach out, tell someone that you love and appreciate them and that you are praying for them. You will be surprised at what kind of power that has in the life of the person who hears those words. So, keep on keeping on with the King and keep pressing forward in your faith. Paul blesses the Thessalonians later on in chapter 5, stating, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely (process/my word), and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our LORD Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” Have a wonderful day and week. – Doug Barger is the Director of Men’s Ministry at Bethesda Mission and is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger. You can email Doug @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: Christian graces are like perfumes; the more they are pressed, the sweeter they smell; like stars that shine brightest in the dark; like trees, the more they are shaken, the deeper root they take, and the more fruit they bear. Rev. John Mason
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8