Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

12/05/2018

Randall Caselman

 

Encourage One Another

 

  The word encouragement does not appear in our King James New Testament, but occurs in the NIV fifteen times. Perhaps the most significant is First Thessalonians 5.11 & 14: "Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing... Encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone." 

 

  Everyone appreciates encouragement...

 

• Genuine encouragement is vital for life and relationships.

• Encouragement is like a breeze on a hot summer day.

• Encouragement helps us overcome when we feel overwhelmed

• It helps us soar to success, rather than sink in failure.

• Encouragement helps us become a victor, rather than be a victim.

• We all hunger and thirst for encouragement.

• There's never a time in life when we don't need encouragement.

• There is never a time when encouragement is not appropriate.

 

  If encouragement is so important, if it enhances relationships, brings hope, strength, growth, and success to people's lives, then we need to challenge one another to become encouragers.

 

Come, let's see what we can learn

about becoming an encourager.

 

  Ask the Lord to and make us aware of opportunities for encouraging others. 

  Indeed, opportunities are all around us, but we must be open to the possibilities. Second Kings chapter five contains the narrative of Naaman, a Syrian military leader who had leprosy. After the Prophet Elisha told him to go wash in the Jordan seven times and be healed, Naaman became angry; was insulted! Have we not better rivers than the Jordan?But some unnamed servants encouraged him to curb his anger and rethink his decision. He did, washed in the Jordan and was healed. Look for an open door, encourage, change a life forever!

 

  Be time sensitive and willing to take the risk.

  Is there someone in your life that needs encouragement today? What's keeping us from encouraging them? Why are we waiting? We need to be sensitive to timing, tomorrow may be too late. Our procrastination could cost someone a soul. Let us not be like Peter, have to have three visions from God before we encourage others to become participants in God's Kingdom.

 

  Then there is fear on our part. "What if I encourage and this doesn't turn out right?" "What will others think if I encourage?" I'm reminded of Barnabas. In Jerusalem, he took a risk of standing up and encouraging Paul when the rest of the church was fearful of him. "So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up walking in fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy spirit, it multiplied" Acts 9.31. All this took place because Barnabas took the risk. Indeed, there's a right time to encourage – When God opens the door! And, we must never allow fear to stop us from becoming an encourager.

 

  Encourage leadership beyond our own ability.

  Be willing to take a backseat to someone we know is better at a ministry than we are at the moment. Barnabas was preaching at Antioch, “seeing evidence of the hand and the grace of God at work in the church, he came to the conclusion that he had brought this church as far as he could, so he goes in search of Paul. Bringing him to Antioch, they preached together for a year. Many people were taught, the church grew. It was here that the name Christian was applied to the church.” All this because Barnabas was willing to look beyond himself to the ability of another. An encourager is never narcissistic, never selfish, but is always open to promoting encouraging the ability of another.

 

  Who do we need to encourage this week? Tomorrow? Right now with a phone call, a card, a face-to-face conversation?

 

—Randall Caselman