Monday, November 26, 2012

Are You An Encourager?

If you are not sure what your calling is yet or you have not had revelation of your gifts, there is one thing you can be doing. Basic to all of us is the ministry of encouragement. It does not take a lot of effort but the fruit produced is almost immediate.

Whenever Apostle Paul sent off one of his ministry team to deliver a letter to a church he always did it with the idea of encouraging that church. These team members were sent out as agents of encouragement:

Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you. (Ephesians 6:21-22)

Paul is sitting in jail in Rome and yet his first concern is the encouragement of the Body of Christ. Today too many of us are too busy with our own circumstances to even notice what others are going through. When we do notice we don't consider it any of our business to get involved. These are our brothers and sisters in Christ; we are responsible for each other.

We don't encourage as the world encourages. We don't compliment each other, our talents, appearance or some false notion of hope. We encourage each other in the Lord. We encourage each other by giving glory to Jesus. We encourage each other by speaking the Word of God into each other's lives. We encourage by praying. We encourage by reminding each other of God's love and faithfulness. There is real power in this type of encouragement.

We also encourage by our actions. When we take time to be with a person, there is encouragement. When we cook them a meal. If they are sick or busy we can come by and help with their house cleaning. We can offer to take the kids for the day so they can have a break. There is always encouragement found in acts of love.

We spend far too much time looking at people with the wrong perspective. We are far too critical. I am reminded again and again of this scripture:

Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. (Romans 14:4)

Don't be one of those who stands on the sidelines and criticizes those who are in the game. Suit up and get on the playing field. If you don't know what to do start with encouragement. It is as you are active with the ministry of encouragement that you will receive greater revelation into your gifts and what it is to which you have been called. We have enough critics in the Church. What is needed is the person who is willing to step up and lift others up by encouraging in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Church needs more encouragers, especially as the Day is approaching. Stay strong in the Lord my brothers and sisters. Stand!

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