Closing the Gap 4.18.18

Week 15 “Encourage One Another”

Day 3

Pray:

Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.

Read:

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Reflect:

Encouragement is person relative.  What might encourage you, might not encourage someone else.  Effective encouragement requires the work of careful consideration.  To consider is to make the effort to understand what is real, true, and best.  “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out” (Pr. 20:5).  A man or woman of understanding is not simply a smart person, but rather a person who lives with a level of consideration.  A person of understanding does the work to think about others and not just think about self. This kind of understanding is very different than judgment.  Judgment (at least the wrong kind) is to come to conclusions about a person’s motives and intentions in order to criticize or condemn them. Consideration is to think deeply about another person’s life in order to know how to best encourage and serve them.  Paul wrote to the Philippians and challenged them to not act out of selfishness or vanity, “but in humility consider others better than yourselves” (Phil. 2:3). This doesn’t mean to think less of yourself; it means to become a person who thinks first of others.  Consideration here means that you are to become a person whose first thought is, “What is best for them?” Think about who has encouraged you in your life. How did they do it? Why was it encouraging? It is very likely that they had given careful consideration to who you are and what encourages your heart.  It is also likely you had a level of trust for them because you believed they wanted the best for you. Give consideration to how you can learn to encourage others. You can do better and you want to do better. Close the gap. Move towards being a person who is known as an encourager. Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” A word that pours courage into a person’s heart because it is “aptly” or appropriately spoken is a thing of real beauty to everyone.  Be a person of beautiful, considerate, and encouraging words, all for the glory of God, for the good of others, and for your own joy.

Pray:

(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.

 

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