Encourage & Build

Encourage & Build

Have you ever heard this saying?  “Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.”  Such a person is an ENCOURAGER!

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.  (1 Thes 5:11 NIV)

There are at least thirteen passages in the New Testament alone about encouragement.  Encouragement means inspiration, reassurance, and support.  Encouragement is a combination of all three.  It has great potential for fostering and advancing critical moments in a person’s, a church’s, and or a nation’s history. 

But command Joshua, and encourage him and strengthen him; for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which you will see.  (Deu 3:28 NKJV)  As this verse in the Bible demonstrates, encouragement is able to strengthen a person’s soul (mind, will, and emotions) and help them to push ahead to accomplish their goal.  Thanks to encouragement and God’s grace, Joshua accomplished great things for God.

When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.  (Acts 11:23)  This is when Barnabas visited the church at Antioch:  He supported them in their faith in God and emboldened them to continue in it.

Here is something interesting to know about Barnabas

“Barnabas” wasn’t his birth name (it was Joseph); Barnabas was his nickname meaning “Son of Encouragement” (Acts 4:36). This rather obscure Bible character was so encouraging that it became his name.” ~ Source:  https://www.leadershipresources.org/who-is-barnabas-in-the-bible-10-things-to-know.

. . . that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ . . .  (Col 2:2)  These words of the Apostle Paul’s are inspiration to the church of his day—as well as to us.  He is nurturing our unity, our faith in and understanding of the Gospel, and our perseverance in faith.

. . . and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith . . .  (1 Thes 3:2)  The Apostle Paul is writing from Antioch about sending Timothy to confirm, reassure and to strengthen the faith of the Thessalonian church during persecution.

As these passages reveal to us, encouragement is powerful!  It has the potential to build (develop, shape, and foster) a person’s faith in God as well as a confidence in their calling to such an extent that they are enabled to accomplish mighty deeds and to produce pivotal moments in history. 

Boldly encourage someone that you care about today.  Blessings upon you!

Creativity, Part 1

Creativity, Part 1

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  (Gen 1:27)

. . . for in the image of God He made man.  (Gen 9:6b)

God created mankind in His own image.  If we meditate upon this concept, it can be eye-opening for us. 

One point I’d like to discuss here is that our God is a creative Being, and He has created us in His own likeness.  Every single one of us has the capacity to be creative.  What does that mean?  It means that every human being has original talent and ability in unique areas and ways.  Each and EVERY one of us has and does receive:

  • Imagination
  • Inspiration
  • Resourcefulness
  • Inventiveness
  • Productivity
  • Innovation
  • Artistic thoughts/ideas

We’re not all called to be actors or musicians, but we may instead be called to be composers or designers.  We may be a computer whiz whose creative ideas design new programs and software.  Another person may be an interior designer, an engineer, or a gifted organizer with skill and talent in creating workable systems.  There are as many ways to be creative as there are human beings on the face of the earth!

Don’t sell yourself short!  Acknowledge that you have creativity within you.  Think about what you most love to do, and where your talents and abilities lie.  Then release yourself mentally to prosper in the occupation of your choosing!

God has blessed all of the work of our hands, minds, and hearts.

Do you see a man who excels in his work?  He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.  (Pro 22:29)

There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.  (1 Cor 12:5-6)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  (Jam 1:17)  See our next article for part two of this topic.

 

 

God, Our Refuge & Strength

God, Our Refuge & Strength

 

Whom have I in heaven but You?  And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.  My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  (Ps 73:25-26 NKJV)

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  (Ps 46:1)

Sing for joy to God our strength . . . (Ps 81:1)

These Bible passages state that God is our REFUGE [fortress; hiding place; protection; sanctuary].  This is important to know, that in times of trouble or stress, He is a place of safety for us.  He’s a refuge in the storms of life.  When problems or sorrows confront us, and we all have them, He is right next to us, willing to shelter us under His wings. (Ps 91:1)  When we turn our hearts and thoughts to Him, and pour out our hearts to Him, He provides comfort as well as grace. He also gives us inspiration and creative ideas on how to handle our situation.   

These Scriptures also remind us that God, through Jesus, is our STRENGTH [courage; security; stability; power].  He provides strength of heart, mind and body to help us to persevere and press on to the solution to whatever confronts us.  Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer.  He is a miracle-working, wonder-working Friend.  Cling to Him and to His Word. 

In the midst of the storm, He is the Rock upon which we stand.  (Ps 40:2)  That’s Good News!