Be An Encourager

Be An EncouragerOne of the great tragedies of our time is that there are so few kind people around. There are plenty of mean spirited, critical, cynical people, but there are few who just take the time to be kind as a lifestyle.

I believe that this is how every child of God ought to be. Let’s be honest, all of us are at times opinionated, self-centered, rude and sometimes just plain mean in our dealings with other people. This ought not to be! I believe that the Lord would have us to practice a ministry of encouragement as we pass through this world.

Fifty-seven years ago, on June 18, 1956, a freak accident happened on a lake in New York. A speeding motorboat bounced on a wave and shot into the water two of its passengers, a 50-year old man and a little girl. To keep her from drowning, the man held her head above water while the boat circled back. They rescued the girl. But the man sank and drowned.

That’s how Dawson Trotman died, the founder of the Navigators, an international discipleship ministry. According to a quote in Time Magazine, “He lived to save others. His death was just the way he would have planned it.” I read somewhere that his obituary reads like this: “Dawson Trotman, always lifting someone up.”

Now that’s a legacy. Would that be yours, too? That you live to save others? That you always lift someone up? In a word, encouragement. Today, we will talk about “The Power of Encouragement.”

Be An Encourager

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

In the Greek, the word “encourage” means “to call to one’s side, to comfort, to console, to strengthen.” Basically, to put courage in. At the time of the writing of Hebrews, there was a great persecution. Our tendency during such trying times would be to save our skin or to each his own. But, the book of Hebrews encourages us to encourage one another.

“Encouragement is the kind of expression that helps someone want to be a better Christian, even when life is rough… To encourage is to inspire another with courage.”

Unknown

Your very encouragement could be the very thing to help someone survive!

It is interesting to note that the Greek word for “encourage” is the one used for the name “Comforter” of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16). People usually equate the works of the Spirit with signs and wonders. But, when we encourage one another, we show that the Spirit really dwells among us. Encouragement, I believe, is the best indicator that the Spirit is working in and through our church.

The word “encourage” is in the present tense. It means a habit or a way of life. In fact, Hebrews commands us to “encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today” (Hebrews 3:13). It is also in the active voice. It means we don’t wait for others to encourage us. But we take the initiative. We must encourage even if others could not, even if others would not. Note that we are to “encourage one another”. That means that it is not only for pastors but for every one of us.

Hebrews 3:12-13 

“See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

When a person is discouraged, when we fail to encourage, sin can deceive and harden his heart to the point that it becomes sinful and unbelieving, leading the person to turn his back from God.

“People live by encouragement. Without it they die. Slowly… Sadly… Bitterly.”

Unknown

Going back to:

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

“let us consider…” It means “to observe attentively, fix one’s eyes or mind upon.” In short, we are to focus on encouraging one another. It is never accidental but intentional.

I like how The Message expresses it: “Let’s see how inventive we can be…” Let us think of creative ways of encouraging others.

14 Ways To Encourage Others 101

1.  Encourage someone by using your gifts and talents and making something for them.

How special it is when we use our encouragement and God given gifts to help others. It’s such a simple thing to give to others using our natural gifts, whatever that gift is in each of us such as encouraging with a written card, or  cooking a meal for someone, or giving a piece of your art, or singing a song to them, etc…. I think we sometimes dismiss this idea because we don’t think the gift we have, could make a difference in the life of someone else, BUT IT DOES!

2.  Encourage someone by praying for them.

3.  Encourage someone by praising them when they do good! (Be specific and truthful)

Saying, “Good Job” can go a long way in someone heart. You know how it is if you worked hard on something and nobody noticed. Learn how to give words of praise.  (LIST of encouraging phrases)

4.  Encourage someone by giving them a hug.

A hug goes a long long long way! Never underestimate the power of a hug. A hug is comforting. It reassures the receiver that you care and are interested in their life. Hugging someone brings security. If you want to get closer to someone, give them a hug.

We could learn form the way team athletes freely pat, touch, and high-five each other in competition. Often even a touch on the shoulder connects you with someone else. A touch expresses connection. It breaks down walls and allows freer conversation and interaction.

“A hug is the perfect gift–one size fits all,

and nobody minds if you exchange it.”

–Ivern Ball

5.  If an encouraging thought comes to mind, share it!

6.  When someone is discouraged or hurting, offer specific, practical help.

7.  Remind fellow Christians of the specific promises of God for their situation.

8.  Write someone a note of encouragement when God places them on your heart.

9.  Make celebration a more regular part of your relationships. (Celebrate the good)

10.  If you are part of a church Bible study or Fellowship, be committed to showing up!

How does this help? You could be the encouragement someone needs. You could receive encouragement from someone. Being faithful in fellowship makes you stronger in your faith. Being faithful encourages your Pastor or leader!

11.  If someone you know is working on a large project, send her a flower, or text him words of encouragement! 

12.  Use encouragement as an outreach!

Encouraging a non-Christian shows your Christian witness. It shows you care. Encouraging someone is a form of love, and Christians should be known by their love.

13.  When you see someone making positive changes in their life, affirm them.

14.  Tell people how they have encouraged you! (Even an encourager needs encouragement!)

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Verse 24 continues, “let us consider how we may spur one another on…”

To spur means “to stir up, provoke, stimulate or incite someone to do something.” In other words, to create a thirst. A thirst for what? “toward love and good deeds.” That’s how we measure encouragement. It is not a fuzzy feeling. Always remember, as the song goes, “Feelings are nothing more than feelings.” If someone became a more loving person or a better person, then we really encouraged him or her.

Verse 25 says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

We usually use this verse to remind people to be faithful in attending church services. However, note the conjunction “but”. It gives a strong contrast between the clauses “Let us not give up meeting together” and “let us encourage one another”. That means that, even if we attend church services, if we fail to encourage others, we have not obeyed this verse to the full extent. Encouragement is the purpose of our meeting together, whether it is a worship service or a small group meeting.

“It is easy to laugh at men’s ideals; it is easy to discourage others. The world is full of discouragers. We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a man on his feet. Blessed is the man who speaks such a word.” 

William Barclay

So what about you? Are you an encourager? Even if it is not your personality, there is hope! Allow yourself to be more like Jesus and you are on your way to being an encourager. Jesus had compassion on people and touched them. Even when other people were ready to stone the Adulterous woman, Jesus was offering forgiveness and hope.

How easy it is to keep to yourself and not reach out to others who are hurting. But that is just being selfish and weak. It takes a strong person, willing to step outside of their comfort box, and help another human being. Let it be you!

Remember the time you needed encouragement. What if no one was willing to help you? Where would you be? What if Jesus decided to be selfish and not go to the cross for you and I? Where would we be?

This is a pretty simple message today, but it is so needed in the body of Christ. Hope Fellowship is a church built on family, love, and support. We are the “Imperfect who are perfectly welcome to passionately know Christ and make Him known.” This is our mission statement! May it begin with me. May it begin with you. Let us be a church who is known for our acceptance and ministry of encouragement towards others. Do you know this is what people crave?

Let’s read the main text again:

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Your Pastor,

Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com

www.krisbelfils.wordpress.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s