1 Thess 5:11
Introduction: One of the greatest gifts we have to offer one another as Christians is the gift of encouragement!
Last week I spoke about enlarging our tents, lengthening our cords and strengthening the stakes.
But it takes encouragement from one another not just to exist but to excel.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 ‘Therefore comfort each other and edify (encourage) one another, just as you also are doing’. (NKJ)
Encourage = put courage into someone.
Courage = quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face challenges.
Hebrews 10:24-25 ‘And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching’. (NKJ)
Romans 15:2 ‘Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification’. (Rom 15:2 NKJ)
• Please = stirve to please / accommodate one’s self to the opinions and desires and interests of others. Probably from another Greek root which means to excite.
• Edification = to build them up (one version).
Romans 1:11-12 ‘For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established– 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me’. (Rom 1:11 NKJ)
Here Greek for encourage = exhort or strengthen
For the purpose of establishing – steadfast, fixed, resolute
Quotes to remember:
1. “A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.” – author unknown
2. “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson
3. “Instruction does much, but encouragement everything.”
(Letter to A.F. Oeser, Nov. 9, 1768)”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Early and Miscellaneous Letters of J. W. Goethe: Including Letters to His Mother. With Notes and a Short Biography
Transition / Question: What might / should Encouragement look like?
I. Honest authentic / fair / straightforward/virtuous yet gracious.
Application: We’ve all heard the term ‘brutally honest’ Brutal should mean genuine but not harsh and critical!
• Being brazen and harsh should not be a badge of courage (it is probably more in keeping with pride).
Our honesty should be seasoned with salt and laced with honey!
• Being gracious includes patience, room for failure and support as needed.
(conducive to moral or general well-being; beneficial…nutritional)
but not flattering.
(Trying to please by complimentary remarks or attention. Insincere, excessive praise.
III. Motivational yet realistic
Illustration: Telling a 5’9 kid who can’t dribble a basketball that he can become an NBA star is not encouragement!
IV. Supportive and accountable.
Application: We can and probably should provide continual support and even ask about progress / movements / answers.
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