Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- October 16, 2012
“Or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12:8 NASB
An exhorter encourages others in the ways of God. They have a genuine desire for their brothers and sisters in Christ to grow in Christlikeness. Therefore, application of Biblical truth is the basis of their motivation toward maturity. For the exhorter, information without application leads to spiritual inoculation. Growing in grace is much more than hearing what’s required of a disciple; it’s doing the right things the right way. The exhortation gift provides a roadmap for righteous living.
Every follower of Jesus needs an exhorter for encouragement and accountability. We need to know that someone really knows and understands us. They know us so well; they can tell when we are not doing well. They ask us questions that are to the point, but delivered with patience. The gift of exhortation gives us courage to continue and warns us when to turn around. They praise our strengths and protect us from our weaknesses. We are wise to invite exhorters into our life.
“For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:3-4, NASB
Do you have the gift of exhortation? If so, make sure you are encouraged in the Lord and held accountable by His people. Prayerfully invite a select group of trusted saints to peer into your soul, warts and all. Like those you help—you need a spiritual examination. Just as you submit to a doctor for regular physical check ups, so your submission to trusted advisors for spiritual scrutiny helps preclude problems. Exhorters need exhortation to maintain a sustainable pace.
Moreover, make sure to schedule for your sweet and supportive time with Jesus. He is your eternal exhorter of love, patience, trust, holiness and help. He gives your soul strength when you are weak. He gives your mind peace when you are worried. He gives your body rest when you are restless. He gives your emotions comfort when you are afraid. One simple, “I love you” from Jesus, lingers in your heart. Thus, be exhorted in the Lord and then exhort others in the Lord.
“Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1, NASB
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for exhorting me in Your ways, so that I can exhort others.
Post/Tweet: The gift of exhortation gives us courage to continue and warns when to turn around. #exhort
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