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Encouraging One Another

posted Jun 10, 2014, 11:01 PM by hbchurch org   [ updated Jun 10, 2014, 11:03 PM ]

“...let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,

not neglecting to meet together,

as is the habit of some, but

encouraging one another…”

Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)

   Encouragement is a frequently mentioned subject by Jesus and several N.T. writers. The Greek word from which encourage and several synonyms is translated occurs 109 times in the Gospels and Epistles. All of us hunger for that which will encourage, especially in a world filled with so many negatives. Our appetite for encouragement is by design—God made us this way. He also created us with a unique ability to help each other fulfill our mutual need for encouragement. According to Hebrews 10:25, encouragement is one of the purposes of our assemblies. But don’t forget that it is a two-way process —a one another matter.

   Perhaps our understanding of the subject will grow if we add the idea of edification to the picture. In his discussion of the activities in a decent and orderly assembly of the church in Corinth, Paul said, “let all things be done unto edifying” (1 Cor. 14:26). Aren’t we encouraged when we are built up? Be careful not to think only about getting edified and overlook our part in giving what we can to build up others. Edification is also a two-way process - a one another matter.

   In the Corinthian church, Paul wrote about speaking the word, (prophesying-was unique to their exercise of spiritual gifts) singing, and praying. I wonder how many people look at our assemblies as an opportunity to encourage and edify others, and are intent on making that their personal goal? 

   Can you imagine the difference it would make in a Bible class if every member came prepared, (to the best of his or her ability) eager to contribute to the edification of others? Wow—a teacher’s dream! No more lock-jaw on the one hand or loose-lips on the other. People would actually think about their comments and questions first! They might ask, “Are my words going to make a positive contribution? Will everyone, especially “babes” and visitors, be encouraged and edified by what comes out of my mouth?”

    Was Timothy having to deal with some who were not thinking about edifying and encouraging others? Were they oblivious to the damage being done by thoughtless comments and wrangling? Many more people will be encouraged if we all give heed to the following timeless admonition of Paul to Timothy (1 Tim. 1:3-7):

“3 ...stay in Ephesus...Stay right there on top of things so that the teaching stays on track. 4 Apparently some people have been introducing fantasy stories and fanciful family trees that digress into silliness instead of pulling the people back into the center, deepening faith and obedience. 5...what we're urging is simply love — love uncontaminated by self-interest... 6 Those who fail to keep to this point soon wander off...7 They set themselves up as experts on religious issues, but haven't the remotest idea of what they're holding forth with such imposing eloquence.” (The Message Version)

   Please don’t think, “I know a person who needs to hear this”, and forget that the only person whose actions you can change is you. Encourage one another!   KD