God is well aware that his people need to encourage one another on a regular basis. The children of Israel were told to “encourage Joshua” who was to lead them into the Promised land (Deuteronomy 1:38; 3:28). David told his messenger to encourage Joab the commander of the army in 2 Samuel 11:25. Kings Hezekiah and Josiah encouraged the priests and Levites in their service to God 2 Chronicle 31:4; 35:2. The Psalmist said that the Lord is with those who uphold (encourage) my soul. Psalms 54:5.
In the New Testament Barnabas is called the Son of Encouragement (Acts 4:36) and he lived up to that name in his service to the Lord. After Apollos understood the way of the Lord correctly the brethren encouraged the disciples in Achaia to receive him (Acts 18:37). Paul told the Philippians that love, and unity were an encouragement in Christ (Philippians 2:1-2). Paul also encouraged (implored or beseeched) two women to be of the same mind in the Lord (Philippians 4:2). To the Thessalonians he offered exhortation (the same Greek word) as a father does his children (1 Thessalonians 2:11). Again Paul urges (encourages) the brethren to grow in their love for each other (1 Thessalonians 4:9,10).
Very beautifully the beloved Paul writes to the church at Thessalonica, “Therefore comfort (encourage) each other and edify (build up) one another just as you are doing. And we urge (encourage) you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and esteem them very highly for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort (encourage) you, brethren, warn the unruly, comfort the faint hearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all (1 Thessalonians 5:11-14).
How can we encourage each other and our leaders? We can begin by being faithful in attendance to all worship and study activities. It is very encouraging to have good attendance in classes and worship. Follow that with verbal encouragement of the weak and fainthearted. Continue by showing your love for God and His people by being what you ought to be and living the way you ought to live. God tells us to, “let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25). Dear Christians we really need your encouragement in order to grow as we should. We are counting on you.
Love, Henry Huckeba
Via The Life Line April 8 1990.
Many of us know that Henry passed away last year, and I came across this this week. His words are still true and needed today. May we encourage one another daily.
OPINIONS AND TRUTH
My opinion are not necessarily truth in your view. Your opinions are not necessarily truth as I see it.
Nicodemus, a Pharisee and ruler of the Jews, came to Jesus by night (John 3:1-2) for fear of the Jews, who had ordered that anyone who confessed Jesus as Christ should be put out of the synagogue (John 9:22). That Nicodemus came by night is stated in Scripture. That he came at night for fear of the Jews is NOT STATED in John 3. That he came at night for fear of the Jews is mere opinion, in this case not even my opinion; that would be out of character for the rest of what we know about Nicodemus (John 3:1-2, 4, 9; 7:50 and 19:39). The two statements do, however illustrate the difference between revealed facts and people’s opinions.
I am opinionated. I have an opinion about nearly everything, and with varying degrees of certainty, I consider my opinions to be correct, but I have no desire to force my opinions on anyone. My point in this article is that opinions should be rationally discussed. It is proper to seek to persuade another of the truth of an opinion, and appropriate for the other to evaluate the reasons given to decide whether or not they are persuasive. We should not divide over matters of opinion.
Tactics designed to coerce agreement are not proper. For that matter the same is true even for important matters. “A person convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” While there is a difference between opinion and revealed truth, most people, including me, are convinced that some, at least, of their (my) opinions are revealed truth.
In His “Declaration and Address,” Thomas Campbell said,
“That although inferences and deductions from Scripture premises, when fairly inferred, may be truly called the doctrine of God’s holy word, yet they are not formally binding upon the consciences of Christians farther that they perceive the connection, and evidently see that they are so; for their faith must not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power and veracity of God. Therefore, no such deductions can be made terms of communion.”
This is prima facie true. If a person cannot recognize the reasoning from Scripture is correct, but accepts it anyway, that person’s faith is based in the one doing the reasoning, not in Scripture itself.
If you accept what a person says, even though you cannot see how what that person said is actually implied in Scripture, then you no longer truth Scripture alone. You trust in the person who said it.
Cecil May Jr
Preacher Talk Vol 37 No 2
NEED SOME STRENGTH
Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to go wrong? People turn against you, your enemies prevail, and life becomes dismal. While reading 1 Samuel, I came across this passage which really deals with this kind of situation.
David, fleeing from Saul, had settled in the Philistine city of Ziklag. David and his men had gone up to assist Achish in battle, but Achish refused their help. Upon returning to Ziklag, they found the city burned and their wives, children and animals taken captive by the Amalekites. Pursued unjustly by Saul, rejected by Achish, plundered by the Amalekites, “David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.” (1 Samuel 30:4). To top it all off, David’s men were talking of stoning him. Then came a verse that almost jumped off the page of the Bible: “But David found strength in the Lord his God.” After this, David took his men and led them to a great victory over the Amalekites.
I believe that our darkest days can be turned into powerful victories if we will also, “find strength in the Lord our God.”
“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my strength: my God; in Him will I trust.” Psalms 91