TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• In 1 Peter 4:10, it says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” This morning, I sent an email to a woman who uses her spiritual gift of encouragement in such a powerful way. And that was the prompt I needed to start writing this morning.
We all have spiritual gifts and when we use them, the Holy Spirit will grow and develop them for His glory. But today, I want to focus on the gift of encouragement. This particular gift comes naturally to some, such as the recipient of this morning’s email. Encouragement just seems to run in her veins, just as it must have for Joseph the Levite, also referred to as Barnabas. Acts 4:36 tells us that his name Barnabas means “Son of Encouragement.”
But the reason I want to focus on encouragement is that we all have the opportunity to be encouragers. It may not be our natural gift, but it’s one that we can all cultivate.
The Bible is full of encouragement from cover to cover. From Genesis 1:27, we are encouraged to know we are made in the likeness of God all the way to Revelation 22:20 when Jesus said, “Surely I am coming soon.” So if we’re using God’s Word as our Manual for Life (as we should), we’re going to be well acquainted with the value and importance of encouragement.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Paul wrote, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” Paul didn’t specify “Hey, those of you with the spiritual gift of encouragement…” He said it for all of us because with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can encourage one another.
What does that look like? Well… what encourages you? Chances are good, others will appreciate it too. The Bible is the first resource, but Gary Chapman’s book of love languages is another great avenue for learning techniques of encouragement that are specific to different people.
I would encourage you today (see how easy it is!) to pick someone. Encourage them. Tell them what qualities you admire about them. Point out something good they did. Give them a Bible verse of hope. Tell them you’re praying for them (the greatest gift you can give!). Let them know you’re thinking of them. And if they’re going through a rough time and need more than words, cupcakes and coffee are both powerful vehicles of encouragement.
Today, as you pray, thank God for all of His encouragement. Thank Him for the promise that He is always with us (Deuteronomy 31:6). Thank Him for His help (Psalm 121:1-8). Thank Him for the plans He has for you (Jeremiah 29:11). Thank Him for His peace (John 14:27). Thank Him for the hope He gives you (Romans 15:13). Thank Him for strengthening you (Philippians 4:13). Ask the Holy Spirit to show you ways you can be an encouragement to others.
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