Romans 1: 11-12
For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine.
Dear LOC Family and Friends,
The Holy Spirit continues to grow our faith, hope and love. A huge part of this process is encouragement. The world discourages; followers of Jesus encourage. Discouragement leads to darkness while encouragement shines like the Light of Christ regardless of our situation. Just yesterday I heard a grandmother tell about her 3 year old granddaughter in need of hip surgery. The granddaughter’s response? “If I get enough Cheetos I know I’ll get better!” Lord Jesus, build this kind of never quit spirit in us all … and be sure she gets some Cheetos!
Another aspect of encouragement is we can see things in others they simply cannot see in themselves. We speak God’s truth into them, how precious, beautiful, unique and irreplaceable they are to our Heavenly Father, and believe that through the Holy Spirit it will begin to take hold. God does the transforming and uses us to encourage. That is why being a follower of Jesus is personal but never private. He brings us into a community, as this passage suggests: Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! (Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10)
We also tend to have short memories. God uses others to remind and encourage us in biblical truths like this one: Philippians 4: 13 (written from prison) - I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Not some things, or a few things, or many things, or most things: All things!
Encourage family, friends, co-workers, neighbors to give God a chance. Invite them to worship at 10am this Sunday. Invite them to a bible discussion group. We have one man from another congregation who was invited and joined a men’s group last week. Three days after his first meeting with us his wife said, “What has happened to you? You’re like the old you! You’re not complaining. You’re not angry. You don’t yell at the TV. You’re peaceful again. What happened?” The Holy Spirit is Who happened. He transforms us all if we give Him the time.
The Holy Spirit is doing immense things in our midst. Lord, show us how to be people of encouragement and light wherever we go!
Your brother on the Journey,