ENCOURAGING ONE ANOTHER
Today we begin a few lessons here at South Cobb on the importance of encouraging one another. Now is the time to encourage more and discourage less. Every day we hear worsening news about the economy and the violence that is erupting all over America because of the angst and upheaval that we are experiencing. Discouraging words are all the news media has to give; rarely do we hear any good news. THE GREATEST GOOD NEWS IS THAT GOD LOVES THE WORLD AND SENT HIS SON TO DIE SO WE MIGHT LIVE. HIS RESURRECTION ASSURES US OF SOMETHING BETTER!
I don’t know how it was in the days of Jesus, but I imagine there was a lot of angst during those times as well. The Jews were under the Roman yoke and had been slaughtered by the government on various occasions. Anytime the Jews gathered to worship at Passover or Pentecost there was a possibility that a powder keg could explode and bring down the armies of Rome on the Jews. We do know that in 70 AD the Romans destroyed the city of Jerusalem as the Assyrians and the Babylonians had before.
What does the future hold for America? I don’t know. There is a lot of speculation as to what the future holds for the world. For the Christian, what matters is not what the future holds, but He who holds the future. Our faith cannot be in man-made governments, but in God. Our faith in God helps us to know that for God’s people things will work out according to his will and, for the one who is prepared, to there good.
My fervent prayer for America is that she would come to God and repent of her sins, lest she become like Assyria and Babylon before her. What we really need is to realize that because we are a part of God’s church, His kingdom on earth, our allegiance is to him above all else. May we be on our knees in constant, fervent prayers for our world, our families, and the church. May we have the courage to teach the truth; the love to share the only hope man has in the gospel, and the peace and joy in our hearts to show the world that there is an alternative to what is going on now.
HOW SWEET IT IS
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” That’s not so! Nothing hurts worse than words – either thoughtlessly spoken or intended to hurt. And nothing is sweeter than friendly words, designed to encourage.
“Many a person on the edge of collapse has received a second wind from the encouraging words of a friend. Talking it over with a friend is exhilarating. And it’s good to be a friend — to say to those who are of fearful heart, “Be strong, Fear not.”
“Appreciation is the oil that keeps the machinery of human relations running smoothly.” But it must be expressed. It is necessary to say nice things for them to do any good . . . not just think them. “A word in season, how good it is.”
“Where is the person who has not hugged some compliment to his heart and brought it out in the cold dark hours to warm his soul and light his way? We’ll cross a busy street to speak to someone who has said something nice about us – but we will walk around the block to avoid someone who has criticized us.”
“Stuffed away in a safe place you have a cherished letter of appreciation. Maybe you should write a letter like that.”
Joe Barnett Via The Treasure of Truth, Dasher Church of Christ
RESOLVE TO BE AN ENCOURAGER
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 states, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” ESV
How many times have we heard, “Two can live as cheaply as one?” Surely we don’t believe this, but God saw something lacking in the creation to make Adam happy. He needed a “help meet.” We now realize what God has always known, “It is not good that the man should be alone.” (Genesis 2:18). We can hardly exist a day without the mutual assistance of others.
Christians NEED EACH OTHER. We need the encouragement toward faithfulness from other Christians. We need help, and we need to help our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is what the fellowship in the local church is all about (This is lacking today, because many are comfortable with staying home instead of coming to worship – TCT). It is a matter of MUTUAL HELPFULNESS. My question should be, “Am I an encouragement to others or a discouragement,” and “Am I a part of the problem or a part of the solution?” Christians must encourage each other, or there will be some that will become cold and indifferent.
Being an encourager begins with attending the assemblies of the saints (Hebrews 10:25). This is a great encouragement to any congregation to have all the members in attendance for the services. We will then have ample opportunities of encouraging individual Christians!
Will you resolve to be an encourager? We must help others along the road to heaven. It makes the way so much easier for us to be an encourager of people.
Travis Connor, Via “Saks Facts” Saks Church of Christ