Guys, this is the next to last post of the November 2015, 30 Days of Encouragement series! How fast has this month gone by?! Don't forget that Monday is giveaway day. You could be the happy winner of this little collection of goodies:
Throw your name in the hat by leaving an "I'm in!" comment
before the end of the day tomorrow.
When the series began our focus passage for the duration was Hebrews 10:19-25.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 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 10:19-25
Here we see that our motivation for spurring one another toward love and good deeds, meeting together, and encouraging one another is Christ. He has made all the difference in our lives. We can approach God! Christ is interceding for us as our High Priest! We are cleansed from sin and have hope! The Good News of new life in Christ motivates us to consider others and encourage them.
Thanks to the input of Drs. Larry Crabb and Dan Allender from their book Encouragement: the Unexpected Power of Building Others Up, and the Merriam Webester dictionary, I came up with this definition of Christian encouragement:
encouragement: the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope that is grounded in Christ and points them to Him
Sounds great, doesn't it? Don't you want to be that for others? As we learned, though, it takes practice and a transformation of our hearts to encourage one another, because - forgiven or not - we still naturally think primarily about ourselves! Throughout the series I have endeavored to expand on the who, what, when, where, how, and why of encouragement, give you a framework for growing as an encourager, and offer practical ideas for you to put encouragement into practice. My prayer is that the Lord has used this series to ground you in Christ and point you to Him.
With the Spirit in us, we have so much power, friends. Be a vessel for the Lord through which His encouragement can flow to others. You don't need a seminary degree or staff position at your church. You possess the Spirit, can read God's Word, have access to Him in prayer (thanks, Jesus!), and people in your life to encoruage. I anticipate that as you step out in faith to encourage others, you will find God faithful. I know, because I have!
I wonder if any of you have stories already from this very month of how you've tried to encourage others. I'd love to hear them!