Encourage One Another

I don’t know that there is any better timing for today’s Scripture than today. I believe with all of the ups and downs and challenges of this year, we are probably a more needy people than ever before in our lives. But notice that vs 24 does not suggest that we seek out encouragement, but rather look for ways to encourage others. May I suggest that you read these verses again, and meditate with me as we seek God’s direction for our lives.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-10-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 10:13-25
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 23 So now we must cling tightly to the hope that lives within us, knowing that God always keeps his promises![l] 24 Discover creative ways to encourage others[m] and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love. 25 This is not the time to pull away and neglect[n] meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing, because we need each other! In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.

OBSERVATION: I don’t know that there is any better timing for today’s Scripture than today. I believe with all of the ups and downs and challenges of this year, we are probably a more needy people than ever before in our lives. But notice that vs 24 does not suggest that we seek out encouragement, but rather look for ways to encourage others. May I suggest that you read these verses again, and meditate with me as we seek God’s direction for our lives.

APPLICATION: I believe that science will show that a person in hospital, or in a retirement facility, who never receive visitation from family or friends, will quickly wither up and die. I also believe that a worker who sits quietly in the corner of the office and works hard, will soon become discouraged and quit, if no one speaks to them or encourages them with praise and thankfulness. However, we have become such a sad bunch who tends to sit and sour in our own selfish attitudes, aches, and pains, and who badly needs support from others. So what if we followed the words of our Father through Paul? Here are some things that may benefit us, and also help us be of encouragement to the needy:
1. Take time to reflect on the hope that lives within us – What hope? How about the hope of one day being with our Lord and Savior? How about the comfort of knowing that part of the triune God lives within us – the Holy Spirit? How about reflecting on the fact that one day when everything is done on this earth, we have a heavenly kingdom to look forward to – where we will meet with royalty like we never dreamed possible here on earth?
2. Take time to reflect on the promises of God that apply to you – It is said that there are over 5,000 promises in the Bible! Why don’t we search out a few promises each day, and allow our minds to reflect on the goodness of God, instead of the many other things that distract us negatively?
3. Look for ways to motivate others towards compassion, love and good works – I believe this means that we not just follow what our neighbor, or our pastor does, but rather – look for unique ways to encourage someone else in the ways mentioned. I bet you’ll be surprised how innovative you can be! Remember, the Holy Spirit lives within you and will help you accomplish the will of God!
4. Plan to meet together – at church – I am convinced that this year of challenges brought on by the COVID virus, has drawn us away from this important aspect of our Christian walk. You see, we tend to encourage others when we see them, hug them and talk with them. They realize they are of value to someone! Yes, we can watch the church service virtually, but how many of us are calling to encourage one another?
Friends, I don’t believe it’s too late for us to still be the child of God that He expects of us. For as long as we have breath in our bodies, we could obediently follow the Word of God, if we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work. I am sharing this message today primarily to myself first, so please accept the devotional as a recommendation based on God’s Word, not from one who is filled with fault. Please pray for me as I work on these matters, and I will be happy to pray for you if you make your need known through a quick update on the blog. I believe that our God is waiting to help us be obedient to His commands!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, I’m sure that this will not catch you be surprise, but I believe that your children are hurting more today than perhaps any other time in their lives. We have become way too comfortable in the ways of the world, and caught up in technology, while many are hurting and need a Christian Brother or Sister to stand besides them and encourage them. Many may have even lost hope. Please speak intently to Your children today, especially everyone that reads as far as this in my devotional. May our souls be revived as we study Your Word and seek Your help so that we may be obedient to Your every command. Please help us to seek ways to provoke others towards love and good works. We all need the Lord, and we need each other for encouragement and reassurance so that our minds might be fixed on Jesus, our Author and Finisher of our faith! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Encouragement Brings Refreshing Times

In this translation, verse 7 reads that Philemon was encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints. In the NLT, we are told that Paul was excited because Philemon refreshed the hearts of believers! Ever been guilty of that? Let’s meditate on how we might do that…

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-09-18
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Philemon 1:4-7
Translation: Voice Translation (Voice)

Bible Text: I am constantly thanking God for you in my prayers because I keep hearing about your love and faith toward our Lord Jesus and all those set apart for His purposes. Here’s what I’ve been praying on your behalf:
Thank You, Father, for Philemon. I pray that as he goes and tells his story of faith, he would tell everyone so that they will know for certain all the good that comes to those who put their trust in the Anointed One.
My brother, because you are out there encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints with such love, this brings great joy and comfort to me.

OBSERVATION: In this translation, verse 7 reads that Philemon was encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints. In the NLT, we are told that Paul was excited because Philemon refreshed the hearts of believers! Ever been guilty of that? Let’s meditate on how we might do that…

APPLICATION: I don’t believe there is anything more satisfying than to walk in on someone speaking something complimentary about you! I suppose the next best thing is probably to read the compliments on our character in a letter, email or newspaper. Unfortunately this hardly ever occurs until the time of our memorial service! Now, I realize that we never do the work of the Lord for man’s applause, but I also know that we each need encouraging from time to time. Paul’s applause to Philemon was all about the feedback that Paul was receiving from the church members that met in Philemon’s home. Friends, we must remember that as we strive diligently to live as an example of our Master and Lord, if no one around us notices, then how do you suppose we are doing? Philemon lived such a life of love in the presence of his congregants, that Paul likened it to something that we do to our computer screens when we ‘refresh‘ the screen! It’s like something that we diligently pray for in our churches, when we pray for ‘revival‘, for we want our hearts to be ‘refreshed‘ in the love of Jesus, and our spirits refreshed to the state of when we first met Jesus, when we fell deeply in love with Him for saving our soul. Friends, I want to encourage us to not wait for our encouragement, before we refresh those around us that we have seen the love of Jesus in. For as we encourage them and see them rejuvenated in wanting to serve Christ even more fully, we too will be encouraged to reach out to Jesus and desire such a filling of His sweet Holy Spirit that it would electrify anyone’s spirit who happens to Come near to us. People who need the Lord are constantly looking at those who say they have a personal relationship with Him, so they could see what a Jesus filled life looks like. How are you doing with that friend? Can others see enough of Jesus in you that they want to be around you, hoping that some of the joy and love that you exude would rub off on them! Draw close to God friend, and He will draw close to you. In fact, He will overfill your joy and love, so that others will want to know the source of it all!

PRAYER: Thank you Jesus for allowing Paul to encourage his Brother Philemon, based on the great work that he saw from, and heard of, him. Thank You for speaking to our hearts through this Scripture today, so that our hearts might be overfilled and encouraged. May we be looking for avenues to encourage and share Your precious love with others. Please give us more love to share and many more opportunities in which to share that love with others. Draw the unsaved to Yourself Lord, and if I may be of service through some awesome act of love, then I beg You to please use even me. Please have the same impact on all those who will read this devotional today. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

A Prayer for Each Other

The Bible teaches us everything we need for right living, and in line with God’s commands for us. In this last chapter of Hebrews, we are taught what’s really important in the life of the believer in Jesus Christ, and we are therefore given great direction on how best to pray for our Brother and/or our Sister. Let’s examine this guidance so that we might pray scripturally for others.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Hebrews 13:20-21 (ERV)

TEXT:  20-21 I pray that the God of peace will give you every good thing you need so that you can do what he wants. God is the one who raised from death our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd of his sheep. He raised him because Jesus sacrificed his blood to begin the new agreement that never ends. I pray that God will work through Jesus Christ to do the things in us that please him. To him be glory forever. Amen.

OBSERVATION:   The Bible teaches us everything we need for right living, and in line with God’s commands for us. In this last chapter of Hebrews, we are taught what’s really important in the life of the believer in Jesus Christ, and we are therefore given great direction on how best to pray for our Brother and/or our Sister. Let’s examine this guidance so that we might pray scripturally for others.

APPLICATION:   What I found extremely interesting in these verses is that we are taught to really pray great blessings on each other, but as we look closely at the ‘so that’ we will see that these prayers are not just to make us look righteous to the church, or in our community, but rather to glorify Christ. I had a pastor who wore a handsome looking suit for the first time, on a Sunday morning. After his sermon, he received so many compliments on his new suit that he promised never to do that again, because it was obvious that his congregants paid more attention to his new suit than they did to the message God gave him to deliver! Sounds funny, but anytime we do, or say, something that glorifies or promotes our own self worth, we have totally missed the point of promoting Christ. I love the beginning of these verses, for it demands that we pray that our Brother or Sister would have every good thing they need. Isn’t that about the best thing you could pray for someone? But notice that there is not a period after that phrase, but instead goes on to give the ‘so that’, and that the purpose of such a prayer is not for the benefit of making your object of prayer the best person in the congregation, community or workplace, but rather for the benefit of doing what God wants. So an example of this might be that you may very well pray that someone be enriched with wisdom, or perfect discernment, but for the one who loves God and seeks to please Him in everything, that may not be for the sake of choosing the right numbers and winning the lotto, but rather, it may bless them with the aptitude to serve on an important team at church in which God is looking to draw people unto Himself in an unusual and miraculous way. You have no idea how God will use that person for His glory, but as you pray in accordance with what God has laid on your heart, be content in knowing that God will bless so that His perfect will might be achieved. The other part of that wonderful prayer is that you will find reason to glorify your heavenly Father for listening to the prayer of His humble servant to achieve His greatness! The last part of verse 21 is also achieved in my example, for God used His blessing to you, to accomplish His work, for His glory. I believe that the awe in these verses for us, is that when we pray for the benefit of God’s glory, we will see our prayers answered, but we will also see gratified hearts through the blessings of God on us and those we pray for. So pray to the Father, through His Son, for His ultimate glory, and for the uplifting and blessings of the one we are praying for.

PRAYER:   Dear God, thank You for the many friends You have blessed me with, and for those You have placed in a position to guide me, manage me, and encourage me. Please bless each of these richly today, so that Your glory might shine through them and bring even more praise to You by multiple others. Please help us to live holy and upright lives, so that Your presence in our lives will shine through every word and every action. People need the Lord more today than ever before. Use us Lord to be You light and Your encouragement to them. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Confidence in the God Who Cares for You

Job just had an awful lot happen to him in Satan’s attempt to destroy his confidence in God. In spite of the many friends that he had helped along the way, he was now discouraged, even in the presence of the same God that he called on for others. I believe this often happens to us, so I want to meditate on this today before our God.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Job 4:3-6 (TLB)

TEXT:   3-4 In the past you have told many a troubled soul to trust in God and have encouraged those who are weak or falling, or lie crushed upon the ground or are tempted to despair. 5 But now when trouble strikes, you faint and are broken.
6 “At such a time as this should not trust in God still be your confidence? Shouldn’t you believe that God will care for those who are good?

OBSERVATION:   Job just had an awful lot happen to him in Satan’s attempt to destroy his confidence in God. In spite of the many friends that he had helped along the way, he was now discouraged, even in the presence of the same God that he called on for others. I believe this often happens to us, so I want to meditate on this today before our God.

APPLICATION:   We might often visit friends in hospital or on sick beds at home, or even in a Nursing Home. We might often chat, and pray with friends at church about troubled times they are going through. We might seek to encourage friends at work, or elsewhere in our realm of influence, praying for them and knowing that God could supply their every need. But what happens when troubles come our way, does that same faith, that same confidence and that same attitude of positivity sustain us? I believe that we must be extremely careful to not fall into the trap of believing that a believer who does all of the above, also stands firm during their time loss, discouragement or weakness. I would hope that for those who minister and/or seeks out others to encourage, that they would be very open to allowing others into their world when they go through tough times. I remember the day I got word of my dad’s death, my church Brothers gathered around me and not only prayed with me but sat and chatted with me and helped me financially to make the trip to be with my mom and siblings while we said our goodbyes. An outpouring of love like that, softened the load for me and helped me see that God was working through His church to help me shoulder the pain of loss and discouragement. I was convinced that God was right there helping me in much the same way that I tried to help others in similar circumstances in the past. Friends, we have no way of knowing whether others will come to help in our times of distress, but we do know that God loves us beyond anything we could even imagine, and that He will take care of His own. Look for those ways that He shows His love towards you, and be ready to praise Him as you see His hand at work in your life.

PRAYER:   Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me home…. Father, You created us with a void in our lives, but You clearly showed us the only One who can fill that void – Your Son, Jesus Christ. You know about the very intimate parts of our lives, and You provide for us like no other can do. Lord, help us to continue giving to others, knowing that one day, You will return gift to us a hundred fold. We don’t give because of what we expect to receive, but thank You for meeting our emotional needs when we need someone most. There is no other like You Lord, and we need You more each and every day. Your love and power is our incentive and encouragement each and every day. Thank You Heavenly Father! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

Encourage One Another

Saturday, 2016-10-01

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 1:11-12

Bible Text:   11-12 For I long to visit you so that I can impart to you the faith that will help your church grow strong in the Lord. Then, too, I need your help, for I want not only to share my faith with you but to be encouraged by yours: Each of us will be a blessing to the other.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

I believe that way too often we ignore the needs of the person who comes to our rescue and helps us through life’s hardest challenges. Like any good pastor today, Paul was anxious to go and deliver the Word to the Roman church, because he wanted to encourage them in their faith and their ongoing ministry. To ensure that we get the right picture, let me suggest that this may mean our local pastors being so fired up about the Word God has given them to share with us in weekend services, that they can hardly wait for the moment that they stand in our pulpit to preach the Word. Now back to the story – Paul told the people that in spite of the spiritual gift he had for them, he was expecting to also be blessed by their spiritual gift to him. Friends, for the man standing in our pulpit, preaching his heart out and speaking exactly what he feels led by God to share with us, have you ever thought about how you might minister back to him? I believe that after many corporate services, we are in so much of a rush to get to the local restaurant that we never stop to think about patting the pastor on the back to encourage him, or ask him how you might pray for him, or share with him how God is blessing you, and your hope that God would do the same for your pastor. There may be some who show little concern for their pastor, because you look at him as a paid employee who is simply doing what he is paid to do. Friends, I believe that a pastor’s job is very similar to that of a teacher, where it’s more of a heart-for-the-job attitude, than any amount of money they may be paid to do the job. I believe that pastors spend limitless hours ministering to the needs of the sheep, that most parishioners never have a clue about. I believe that most pastors are so underpaid, that they face financial challenges far worst than most of their parishioners. I believe that God is speaking to us through these verses today by simply encouraging us to not settle for what we might receive from His servants, but be constantly thinking about what we might give, or how we may encourage God’s servants – our pastors. This weekend, let’s remember what Paul was asking for, and be encouraged to respond to our pastors with encouragement before they have to ask us for it. I believe that God will especially bless us for encouraging His messengers/servants to continue on in the teaching and preaching of His Word!

Prayer

Thank You Lord Jesus for Your grace, and for Your mercy on even us. Thank You for blessing us with shepherds who have chosen to serve You by serving us and encouraging us. Lord, please touch each and every church attendee this weekend with a spirit of encouragement for our pastors. As they pour their hearts out to us, may we in turn be grateful and encourage them in return. Lord, we want to please You in every thing we do. I believe that by placing Paul’s desire for encouragement in Your Word, You wanted to remind us of the human needs of our pastors also. May we be alert to their needs, so that together we may receive every blessing that You have in store for us. May You be glorified in all that Your churches attempt to achieve this weekend, for I ask these things in the precious name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Good Deeds That Trigger Praise To God

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Matthew 5:13-16): 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. 14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

THOUGHTS: Jesus always taught using object lessons that His hearers could identify with. Fortunately, we can still identify with many of the things Jesus chose to use in His lessons. Although salt is still important in most kitchens today, I believe that it has developed more of a negative spin from our health conscious contemporaries because of the abuse by many chefs. However, let’s look at why Jesus may have chosen such a key element to demonstrate His point. It was used by the people being taught to preserve food. Without refrigeration, meat was salted to preserve it and stop decay. Then, and now, salt was/is used to flavor food – make it more palatable for the consumer of the finished product to enjoy the meal because of its greatly enhanced taste. So let’s compare this to the Christian’s life: we are a chosen people, and just like salt is not intended to stay on the ground and go unnoticed, but be used to preserve food, we too are designed to preserve the lives of those who would otherwise die and go to hell without a Savior. Our lives are to bring such ‘flavor’ (a sweet aroma, a desired transformation, a comfort, a satisfaction and a calm assurance) to an unbeliever’s life that they would gain a desire for the same attributes, and a desire for the Savior that we would constantly and consistently attribute the origination of our gift(s) to. Friends, I believe that we should have such an impact on those that we come into contact with, that their lives might be enhanced, just life salt enhances food to be more palatable. The other attribute taught by Jesus is ‘light’. Friends, please try this simple little illustration. Make a room totally dark tonight and then try moving around in the room. Then turn on just a very small flashlight, and notice the difference it makes in the large dark room. It makes a huge difference. We too live in a very dark world – darkened by sin. Jesus wants us to be relief to those who struggle in darkness – perhaps no hope, perhaps no light at the end of their dark and dreary tunnel. In the Bible Jesus is known as ‘light’. When the unsaved discovers a ray of hope in us, it reminds them of Jesus, the Light of the world, and it draws them closer to Him. To a mariner, a small light at the top of a lighthouse gives direction and hope. An unbeliever struggling in a dark world will receive a ray of hope and new direction from a Christian who lets the light of Jesus shine out from them in their actions and words. So friends, may I encourage you to allow your life to impact the lives of others like salt impacts the taste of food, and to allow the light of Jesus to shine bright enough through you that the unsaved receives hope when you walk into a room with them? May Jesus be praised today because of the difference you will make in someone’s life!

PRAYER: Dear God, as Your humble servants, may we seek Your face and allow You to impact our lives in such a way that we, in turn, may impact the lives of those that we come into contact with. May we be ‘salt’ to their dull and meaningless lives, and may we be as a ‘light’ in their dark world where there seems to be no hope. We are capable of nothing like this without Your supernatural power in and through us, so Lord I pray that You might be given full reign over us today. Touch the lives of those that You know need refreshment, restoration or a new outlook on life – life eternal. Please use us in Your own special way today is my humble and sincere prayer that I ask in the name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Value of Encouraging One Another

THE HOLY BIBLE: Be careful, brothers and sisters, that none of you ever develop a wicked, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. Encourage each other every day while you have the opportunity. If you do this, none of you will be deceived by sin and become stubborn. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭3‬:‭12-13‬ GW)‬‬

THOUGHTS: As God spoke to me about this passage of scripture this morning, I can only conclude that Satan is very busy among God’s body of believers. In other words, I believe we have convincing information here to show that God would much rather see His people get along; encourage one another; love and respect each other, so that it would be evident to the world to whom we belong. In fact, the writer goes as far as saying that when we (Christians) use every possible opportunity to encourage one another in the faith and in the spiritual condition of each other’s lives, we help prevent sin from hardening into our lives. I believe this means that the encouragement from a Christian Brother or Sister will help us fight off sin, and especially fight towards preventing sin from becoming a permanent part of our lives. Friends, I believe that we have to always be aware that although we might belong to God, Satan is always on our trail, trying every trick in his book to win us back; placing obstacles in our way to hinder our walk with the Lord. However, with God’s help, we are expected to help each other fight against the evil one, by prompting each other towards good works; by promoting the studying of God’s Word so that we might be filled with His righteousness and not the evil promoted by the world and Satan; by encouraging each other in the things of the Lord and not allowing Satan and his cohorts to keep pushing negativism, evil and malice in the face of God’s children. I believe our challenge for the day is to stop and question ourselves whether we are helping our friends to prevent, fight off, or stay away from sin, or are we pushing them towards it. If we are a part of someone’s life, we will have one of these effects on them. Please ask God to make you an encourager that will provoke your friends to love and good works – towards the things of God, and not just a ‘bump on the log’ that causes them to stumble and fall.

PRAYER: Father, I am thankful for the positive influences of folk that You have placed in my life. I am especially grateful for those that encourage me and provoke me towards the things of God. I need Your help today to identify those who need my encouragement, and Your guidance in how I might encourage them. Please help me to repoint them to You and Your Word, for it is the means to life everlasting in glory with You and the Father. As I strive towards staying close to You every day, may I always be made aware that my life is to be a living example of You and an encouragement to others, so that together we may stay strong in the faith and of value to each other while still here on this earth. Thank You for loving me enough to send an encouraging Brother along side of me to show me the cross and lead me towards salvation. May I be that kind of encourager today! Bless those that will meditate on this devotional today, that they also may be encouraged, then prompted to encourage others towards the cross of Jesus Christ, for it is in His name that I ask all this, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to http://www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Be Encouragers of God’s Messengers

The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – 1 Thessalonians 2:2-6): God gave us the courage to tell you the good news about him, even though many people caused us trouble. 3 We didn’t have any hidden motives when we won you over, and we didn’t try to fool or trick anyone. 4 God was pleased to trust us with his message. We didn’t speak to please people, but to please God who knows our motives. 5 You also know that we didn’t try to flatter anyone. God himself knows that what we did wasn’t a cover-up for greed. 6 We were not trying to get you or anyone else to praise us.

Thoughts: I believe that when one does a job in spite of opposition, or in spite of whining and complaining by those they are trying to help, then we should appreciate that they are specially called for that job, and they are therefore working as a result of their obligation to a higher calling. This is what we see in this message by Paul, and if we are real honest, this is what we see in our pastors and teachers at our local churches. Although they may never openly complain, I believe that our pastors face a lot of correction, ideas, suggestions and self-proclaimed righteousness from their congregations to whom they preach and teach. Please don’t get me wrong friends, I believe pastors welcome your constructive input, because it helps to show them that you were listening and indeed care enough to correct them or encourage them with your words. But let’s try to be careful to be encouragers, and not on the list of ‘trouble makers’ or ‘opposers’ to the gospel. When our pastors have the freedom to share the unfiltered Word of God with us, then perhaps we can hear directly from God. If they have to speak in parables to make sure they don’t hurt the feelings of some, then many of us will totally miss the point! Paul shared that he had no other motive than to see Jesus accepted and God magnified and lifted up by the folk he was ministering to. I believe that we still have men of God who endeavors to do this through their preaching, teaching and actions in their life. I hope that even today we can commit to aiding these gentlemen – these men of God, to be transparent in what God wants to say to us through them, and not be hindered by us in any way. I was taught many years ago that each of us might mess up at times, but let’s learn to look at the heart and see what the other brother’s heart might be. Many times we will be convinced that although he may have said something differently to what we would have said, his intent was to help and/or to magnify God. So where do you best fit in this scenario today: Encourager; Opposer or just don’t listen close enough to care? I believe God wants us to all be encouragers, and we can do this through an encouraging word to our pastors and/or teachers, or we can pray for God’s ongoing hand upon them as they surrender to Him and try to share His Word with us. Let’s commit to improving our stance, so that our pastors might be improved in their walk and their talk!

Prayer: Lord, You have indeed blessed us with great messengers who sacrifice daily so that they might share Your heart and Your will with us. I sincerely thank You for my pastors and teachers and I pray that they might be even more energized by Your touch on their lives today. May they be drawn so close to Your bosom today that they might be reassured of Your love and Your direction for them as they lead us. May they receive a fresh anointing of Your divine Holy Spirit so that as they stand before us this weekend we may hear the unfiltered Word of God and not have to guess what You are trying to say to us through them. May our pastors have the freedom to be transparent in what You might need to say to us through them, is my humble and sincere prayer that I ask in Your precious name, with thanksgiving. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!