SOME THOUGHTS FROM TOMMY
Why all these articles and notes about encouragement lately?
I think, (no, I know) the church has been discouraged by many things – loss of members due to covid; discouraging words in the political landscape, in which many are trying to create more division than unity. (And of course, it is always the other side’s fault). Then consider the continued mantra of so many that are appealing and advocating sin, OPEN AND BLATANT SIN, in the public arena; the “doctrines and lies” are infiltrating schools and the media to the point that we are sickened by how far the world is getting away from God. They took baby steps to get here, and now it is so blatant that they are proud of what they do!
This attitude does infect the church and affect the church. We must stand firm on what the Bible says!
Consider the continuing situation in the church (which has been true since the Lord established his church, as is clear in the letters written to the churches in the New Testament). Our hearts grow discouraged because many have had to deal with uncertainty, strife, and heartache. It hurts when loved ones in the church disagree and go their separate ways. It is discouraging.
God knew these things would happen, as he knows all things. He knows our hearts and the discouraging things we listen to. Beloved, it is time that we get our focus on God – not the things of the world. When we constantly hear the mantra of lies and falsehoods, just remember from whence they came. Our enemy, God’s enemy, will not stop! Don’t be ignorant of his devices. “Double down” in your growth and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ! Look to him to aid and comfort you! Remember, He knows all and WILL ONE DAY MAKE EVERYTHING RIGHT! Perhaps, we should be praying more as the early saints did – COME LORD JESUS (Revelation 22:20-21).
KEEP THE FAITH!
“. . . Who went about doing good. . .” is the beautiful statements Peter made about Jesus in Acts 10:38. What a commentary on the life of the Savior! Are we trying to imitate him? Paul said, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1). We should be doing good and by our example cause others to do the same. Here are some good things you can do . . .
1. REACH OUT TO LOST SOULS. Invite others to worship. Participate in a program like World Bible School. Pray for the lost and then do something about teaching them. Greet every visitor that comes into the building.
2. HAVE COMPASSION ON THE SICK. When people are flat on their backs their hearts are easily touched.
3. WEEP WITH THE BEREAVED. A kind word of care means so much to people when they have suffered great loss.
4. VISIT A WIDOW OR A WIDOWER. Can’t you see their faces light up as you take a cake or pie into their homes and say, “We love you.”
5. WRITE A NOTE OF APPRECIATION. This encourages others to do more. It makes a difference when you know you are appreciated.
6. BE A GIVER, NOT A GETTER. Jesus said that he “. . . came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28). Use your life for others. JESUS DID AND SET THE EXAMPLE FOR ALL OF HIS FOLLOWERS.
7. ENCOURAGE THE YOUNG. Our young people have so many good qualities. We should help them develop their talents. Remember, they are the future.
Paul said, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). May we all strive to take advantage of each opportunity to do good. A life of service is one of joy and peace! DO GOO! You won’t regret it.
Ken Tyler, THE EXHORTER Arab church of Christ
“When Paul said, ‘Let us go on unto perfection,’ it means an encouragement, admonition, and exhortation. When I say to you, “Brethren and friends, let us do it,” I mean to imply that I am in; that I will help. Let me say to you that men differ not from other animals of the earth in that they need encouragement all along the pathway of life. The boy out in the field with his favorite dog understands the philosophy thereof; and when on the trail of the rabbit, he encourages, admonishes, and exhorts him to do the best. The dog, the ox, the horse — every animal, including man – responds to proper encouragement . . . I think many times that we have the wrong philosophy of life. We wait too often until some poor fellow has ceased to be, until his tongue is still in death; then we begin to sing his praises and cover his casket with sweet, scented flowers. When no longer we can obstruct and hinder, we are ready to sing praises.
“My friends, I need no special encouragement then. I know the problems of life. I have been against the difficulties. I have seen mountains rise as almost impossible barriers. In passing along life’s way, I need the sunshine and showers; I need the sweet-scented flowers and encouragement of those who want me to succeed and accomplish humbly that which is greatest and best.”
N. B. Hardeman, Tabernacle Sermons, Vol 1, p 27
SOME PASSAGES THAT ENCOURAGE US TO ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER
Exodus 14:13 “and Moses said to the people, do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of Lord for which he will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever”
2 Chronicles 35:2 “. . .and he set the priest in their duties and encouraged them for the service of the House of the Lord.”
Proverbs 12:25 “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression but a good word makes it glad.”
Isaiah 35:3 “Strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees.”
Isaiah 41:13 “for I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you “Fear not, I will help you.”
Daniel 5:10 “The queen, because of the words the king and his lords, came to the banquet hall. The queen spoke, saying, “O king, live forever! Do not let your thoughts trouble you nor let your countenance change.”
Matthew 9:2 “Then behold, they brought to him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”
Matthew 14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying “be of good cheer it is I! Do not be afraid.”
Matthew 17:7 “But Jesus came and touched him and said, “Arise and do not be afraid.”
Mark 16:16 “But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus from Nazareth who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.”
Luke 24:38 “And he said to them, ‘Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?”
Acts 23:11 But the following night that Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for me in Jerusalem you must also bear witness in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness in Rome.”
Acts 27:22 “And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.”