November 11, 2015

30 Days of Encouragement {Day 11}: Encouragement Requirements

Let's hone in, today, on the verses from Hebrews 10 that include the phrase "encouraging one another."

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another -- and all the more as you see the day approaching.  Hebrews 10:24-25

This week we'll do a quick run through the what, who, where, and when of encouraging one another.  Then spend the rest of the series on the how-tos of encouragement.  I'm so thrilled to share with you from the talk I gave on Saturday!  I learned so much through the preparation process and love dragging you blog readers into it.

You will notice in the verses above that there is a thread connecting spurring one another on in love and good deeds, meeting together, and encouraging one another.  Thus, I conclude that being an encouragement requires two things: engaging with people  and intentionality.

Hermits are not known for their ability to encourage others, right?  To encourage one another we have to be with one another!  Not all the time, of course, but regularly enough to know what is going on in each others' lives and have time to talk.  To encourage one another, we must meet together.

Further, to spur one another on toward love and good deeds requires that we are intentional when we meet together.  In their book, Drs. Crabb and Allender say, The final goal of encouragement is to move people along in their walk with Christ.  Interacting in this way goes beyond the normal surface-level conversations we have, inviting us to go deeper and, lovingly, push one another along in the faith. Love and good deeds find their origin in ever-growing relationship with Jesus. To encourage one another, we must be intentional in our interactions.

In order to encourage one another we need to be in the habit of getting together and, during those times, intentional about spurring one another on toward love and good deeds.  I am confident that as you develop these habits, they will become second nature.  The Lord has His way of transforming our character as we strive to be obedient to His Word!  At the beginning, we will have to remind ourselves to consider others when going into gatherings with fellow believers, no matter how desperately we need to be ministered to ourselves.  With time, however, we will grow to be natural encouragers who put others first because God has been faithful to change us through our practice.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised if faithful.
Hebrews 10:23

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