Acts 13:15 (NLT) --- After the usual readings from the books of Moses and the prophets, those in charge of the service sent them this message: "Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, come and give it."
Hebrews 10:25 (NLT) --- And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Twice this week I have had a particular thought that continues to rattle around in my head and heart. You know, when those kind of things stick around, God must be speaking, and it is something that we need to deal with.
The thought goes something like this: when you have the opportunity and/or ability to encourage a person, do it.
It may be our words that leads that person to Jesus. It may be our encouragement that this person remembers when they fall flat and don't want to get up. It may be, in my case or any church leader's case, that our encouragement leads that person to lead other people to see God.
Here me out. I shared yesterday that we have the right AND responsibility to see that our kids experience God and don't miss His best for them. We further have the right AND responsibility to help others experience God. When we don't encourage, we may miss blessing someone or even help someone to miss God all together.
If you have an encouraging word, come and give it. That's what the first verse said. God intends us to live in and to thrive in community. That means we were made to live life together and not alone. What we do and what we say leads the people around us.
Here is the kind of encouragement we ought to be giving:
Jude 1:22-23 (nlt) --- And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.
Show mercy by encouraging people with your faith and with what you say. Some things we say or do may keep people from going to Hell or from making wrong choices. Look around you. Who does God want you to encourage?