Many Ways to Encourage

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Key Bible Verse: So encourage each other and help each other grow stronger in faith. (1 Thessalonians 5:11, ERV)

Dig Deeper: 

Paul’s ministry was one of consistent encouragement. Paul commended the believers for what they were doing well. He exhorted them to press on in faithfulness to Christ. And he offered counsel amid the challenges they were facing and those that he knew would come.

All three of Paul’s actions listed above are linked: encouragement, exhortation, and counsel. They come from the same root word, the Greek verb parakaleo. All three forms of encouragement can be used by God to move a Christ follower successfully along the path to maturity.

Sometimes [we’re called to] inspire. Other times, a word of truth is necessary. And still other times, a caring word of comfort is needed.

This is why Gerald Sittser believes there’s great significance in Paul’s multipurpose perspective on encouragement: “If believers flag in zeal and lose heart, we exhort them. If they struggle with a problem and stumble in their walk with God, we build them up. If they face loss and disappointment, we comfort them. There are many ways to apply this command [to encourage each other] because there are many ways our spiritual engines get run down.”

Source of quote: Gerald Sittser, Love One Another: Becoming the Church Jesus Longs For (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008), 107.

–  Rob Bentz in The Unfinished Church


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