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Archive for the ‘encouragement’ Category

You can make a big difference in somebody’s life today.

Comfort them.

With words of encouragement.

Or deeds of assistance.

Or funds toward an overwhelming bill.

Pray with them.

Defend them.

A handwritten note can do wonders.

Just do something.

After all, others have comforted you during tough times.

You know how much it can help.

So does God.

That’s why He told us in 2 Corinthians that our mission includes the call to comfort.

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.” (2 Cor. 1:4)

If you can’t think of somebody in your circle of influence who needs comfort today, ask God to show you who needs what you’ve been blessed to receive in the past.

Remember, nobody likes feeling alone.

As always, I love you
Martin

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It’s almost August and a good time to hold ourselves accountable.

Do we make clear and repeated efforts to say and do encouraging things to each of our family members?

Are we known within our congregation as a person who seeks to encourage everybody? Or just a certain few that are our “peeps?”

If I go through our church directory and cannot recall a time when I encouraged each person who attends, then I’ve got work to do.

I need to look for opportunities to encourage each person in my life, even if I’ve never received encouragement from that person.

The Apostle Paul clearly had the gift of encouragement and it overflowed once again in chapter 14 of his letter to the church at Rome:

“So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.” (NLT).

If I’m not encouraging all the people in my church circle, I’m falling short of what God expects from me and what others need from me.

I’ve got work to do.

Perhaps you do, too, in your circle of influence at home and at church.

Let’s aim carefully.

Let’s let our love for God overflow into the lives of others as we thank them for the good things they do, the kind words they say, the helpful gifts they provide, the disciplined commitment to attend worship and read the Bible and for their God-honoring choices to vigilantly resist Satan’s temptations.

It’s what faith family members are supposed to do.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Your day will be more productive if you’ll make the decision to specifically encourage your family members and co-workers.

And if you think of ways to affirm the volunteer efforts of several members of your congregation — whether by text message, email or phone call — your day just might be a motivational home run.

We all love to hear encouragement since we already hear enough complaining each day. Words that build up are like fresh air from an opened window in the midst of a smelly, dark room.

There’s no question we’ll be more productive through a pat on the back than through a slap in the face or worse, a knife in the back.

If you sometimes catch yourself trying to intimidate or guilt others into doing what you want, then I strongly encourage you to pray for wisdom and to closely study how Jesus motivated His disciples.

Did He talk to them the way you talk to others when they’re not doing what you want?

We all have room for improvement in this regard.

Here’s a great word of encouragement from the Bible that can help us to be the motivators that God desires and our circles of influence need:

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24)

Let’s start thinking. Let’s start role-modeling the love and good works that we want to see in others’ lives.

It’s the best way to help others to do the best they can.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Encouraging another church member is as easy as 1-2-3.

As in I Thessalonians 1:2-3.

If we’ll communicate the uplifting, purpose-focused words of this passage, I’m convinced that more of God’s power will flow through our lives with the Kingdom being strengthened as a result.

As you read the following, ask yourself how you would feel if you received a handwritten note with these words directed at you:

“We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I’m going to write some encouragement notes today.

I hope to communicate the purposeful love that Paul communicated to Christians in Thessalonica.

Please do the same for some in your congregation or extended family.

The Kingdom will grow stronger as a result.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Having an intercessory, shepherd’s heart is not just for the Christian apostles of the 1st Century.

It’s something that every Christian is called to have.

Even if we’re shepherding just one person.

Here’s what the Apostle Paul wrote regarding his shepherd’s heart:

I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger?” (2 Corinthians 11:28-29)

We should pray daily for the believers and congregations within our circles of influence. They’re our family, after all.

When a Christian brother or sister is struggling, we should feel their need for help and encouragement. That’s when we’ll be more likely to come alongside of them in prayer and active efforts to help as fellow believers should.

If someone is getting bad information, whether doctrinally or with how live in everyday life, we should be discerning of the poisonous path being promoted and we shouldn’t complacently say nothing because we don’t want to get involved.

When we do speak, though, it should be with words based on facts and scripture, not only our feelings and opinions.

For opinions often have little influence against destructive behavior designed to tear down others in order to divide loyalties.

Let’s all commit to being good shepherds, regardless of if we wear the title.

There are too many sheep starving for safe pasture, Living Water and someone to help them against the wolves.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Just about everybody has had a Psalm 142:4 moment along the way.

Perhaps even a bunch of them.

Here is the description:

“I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought!
 No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me.”

It’s not a happy place to be emotionally when you feel alone to the point of the above statement.

It’s probably not an accurate statement that nobody on the planet cares even a bit about you.

But when has depression ever been about accurate perceptions?

David is credited with writing the above words and he surely had plenty of reason to be discouraged.

Just as we have reasons to encounter discouragement from time to time.

It really does stink when we think nobody cares that we’re sad or hurting or broke or lonely or unemployed or whatever.

David was obviously venting when he wrote this verse, just as we vent when asserting that nobody cares about us.

Fortunately, David came to his senses and realized something very important.

Even if every human rejected him and lacking any emotional support from people, David knew that he’d find the soul-sustaining help from God. In the Lord, he already had all that he really needed.

“Then I pray to you, O Lord.
I say, “You are my place of refuge.
 You are all I really want in life.” (Psalm 142:5)

Notice that David wrote in the present tense. That tells me that David was defining a practice, a consistent response of the soul to those times when he felt that nobody cared about him.

What great advice for us.

When we’re bummed out because of circumstances and feelings that we struggle alone, let’s run to our place of refuge, our ever present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).

God really is all we need in life.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I took a few minutes at our church picnic Sunday to publicly thank a man in our congregation who did some carpentry work in the fellowship hall.

You’d think by William’s reaction that I had just handed him the keys to a brand new house.

He was so excited and when I handed him the certificate of appreciation signed by some of our church leaders, his face beamed and we hugged and he walked back to his seat pointing all the applause toward heaven.

William is Spanish and speaks very little English but it was clear what he was saying.

He was praising God for the opportunity to serve and he was redirecting all the praise to his heavenly Father.

It was a beautiful moment.

I’m glad for William.

Yes, it’s very nice to know that your efforts are appreciated.

Please take a few moments today to give words of appreciation to somebody in your life.

It’s what God wants us to do — “Therefore, encourage one another” (I Thess. 5:11).

Particularly those giving their time to help your congregation’s ministry.

If you’re not part of a congregation, please give some encouragement to somebody you know who volunteers for a community service organization.

Encouragement is the oil for the engine of community service, whether part of a congregation or not.

The more encouragement you give, the smoother that life within your corner of the world will flow.

As always, I love you
Martin

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