Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- September 3, 2011
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
People die a thousand deaths of discouragement because daily life saps courage from the human heart. Discouragement needs courage, first from the resurrected life of Christ. He is our hope. He is our Savior. He is our Lord. He is our life. Because Christ is in you, you may be just the dose of courage needed for a friend to make it through another day.
Do not underestimate your ability to dispense courage. Your kind word is encouraging. Your warm smile is encouraging. So is your generous gratuity, your presence, your listening ear, your investment of time, and your wisdom. Your encouragement builds up others.
What Satan tears down, you build up. He tears people down, but you build them up. His goal is the demolition of faith, hope, and love. Your God-given mandate is the building up of faith, hope, and love. Where Satan discourages, you encourage. Like an opponent in a chess match, he is trying to deceive others into thinking they are trapped with no way out. He plays for a checkmate of discouragement, but you have courage and hope in King Jesus. He already has the devil checked, and there’s not even the possibility of a stalemate.
Therefore, use eternal encouragement to deliver others from the devil’s delusions. Take courage from God, so you can give courage to others. Lead others to this same fountain of eternal encouragement so they can drink when no encouragers are around. Courage to the soul is what food is to the body. It is filling at the time but exhausts itself quickly, so dine at the table of God’s encouragement regularly. His word is sumptuous, satisfying, and encouraging.
Dispense His word to others in doses of daily encouragement. Human words are hollow compared to the meaty words of Scripture. The Bible is a reality check. It’s the Lord’s large instruction book. His word is a baptistery of bold encouragement; for when you are immersed in the Holy Scriptures, you are covered with encouragement.
It is not possible to consistently feed on the Bible and not be encouraged. Believe His word, and you will be encouraged. His promises are true: He has forgiven you, He has accepted you, He loves you, He walks with you, and He desires you. This is encouraging! Be encouraged so that you can encourage others. It is encouraging to encourage others. You see a person breathe a sigh of relief, and you are encouraged. You see them do the wise thing, and you are encouraged.
You train a child in the way that he should go. Then he lives for God and you are eternally encouraged. Give courage and you will receive courage. Choose the high road of encouragement over the low road of discouragement. Anyone can discourage, so don’t be just another anyone. Be a Barnabas, and God will be pleased, while you and many others will be encouraged.
The Bible says, “Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it” (Ezra 10:4).
Taken from the September 4th reading in the 365-day devotional book Seeking Daily the Heart of God
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