Closing the Gap 4.20.18

Week 15 “Encourage One Another”

Day 5

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:

1Thessalonians. 5:9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Hebrews 3:12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

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:

Encourage is a verb; it is what you do. Your goal in encouragement is not to evoke a feeling, but to help others continue to move towards Christ in faith and towards others in love.  They may feel encouraged or not, but the goal of encouraging others is to spur movement in the direction of courage. If they are encouraged, they will continue on whether or not they feel a certain way.  Encouragement towards faith and love is based on the settled facts of the gospel. Those facts are to be the foundation of your encouragement for others and their encouragement for you. Whether the discouragement has come because of poor health, broken relationships, or disappointment over unfulfilled expectations, the courage to continue is based on the fact that God’s purposes will prevail.  His glory and your ultimate good are not dependent on temporary circumstances. This fact will not always help you or others feel encouraged, but this fact can help you be encouraged.  It can help you continue to move forward in courage and in faith.  The gospel truth can encourage your heart all by itself, if comprehended by our minds and applied to our hearts by the Holy Spirit. However, the way God has designed us is such that maximal encouragement happens when the gospel truth comes in the form of a friend who walks side-by-side with us.  Communicated truth is powerful; demonstrated truth is transformational. Encourage someone today, not merely by throwing words their way, but by walking side-by-side with them. Let someone encourage you today. If you need to humble yourself and ask for encouragement, do so. You will encourage them if you let them encourage you.  People will be challenged by your strengths, but they will encouraged by your weakness.

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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