Monday, September 04, 2006

Encourage, Be Silent or Complain?

When we examine the letter to the Ephesian Christians we notice Paul's continued attention to the nature and results of the power of God in the life of the believer compared to the life of those who are under the control or influence of the powers of darkness.

Throughout Ephesians we also notice all the references to our relationship with God. We see these in the in Him, In Christ, with Him, by Him statements. We also see that Paul lays out the purpose of the gifts (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor-Teacher) Jesus has given to these to the Church for three specific purposes. Can you find them in the passage that follows?

Eph 4:11-1311 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. NIV Let me point out the answers.

1. To prepare God's people for works of service or the work of the ministry.
2. Building up the body of Christ.
3. So that we all become mature, attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

When we read the letter to the Ephesian believers we are Encouraged in Christ, in what God has done for us in, by, with and through Him. After having read through Ephesians several times I saw that Paul was not only teaching but Encouraging these believers.

In our daily life there are many times a when Encouragement would be welcome in our day. We also should seek to Encourage others. Maybe it is through a smile, an Encouraging card or note or word. Perhaps a kind act or gift. These are many ways we can Encourage others. Perhaps, my favorite form of Encouragement is to have people praying for me and for them to communicate that to me. It is easy to be critical of others, to see there faults and forget that we all have our share of faults. Sometimes we see others who may be in need of Encouragement and we simply do nothing and we are silent.

WWJD was a popular phrase a few years ago and I see Jesus Encouraging people to fulfill God's plan, purpose and missiion in their lives. When the shepard spent individual time with his sheep they were encouraged, felt cared for and loved. Jesus desires to do that for us daily.

There are also times when we like King David in the midst of life's events must encourage ourselves in the Lord.
1 Sa 30:6
6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. KJV

We can accomplish this through remembering the awesome things God has done for us in the past, by reminding our selves of who we are and what we have in, with, by and through Christ. We can also do this by worshiping, praising and singing unto the Lord as well as through fellowship with other believers. Reading God's Word and meditation on His promises are also Encouraging as well. Perhaps my favorite form of Encouragement is to have people praying for me and for them to communicate that to me.

Today, I would like to Encourage you to make a list of people you might Encourage and pray about how you will accomplish this. Then ask God for a mindset of Encouragement as you go about your week.

You may brighten alot of peoples lives as you let the His light and Encouragement shine through you!

The Artwork is from the ministry of James Goll website, The Encounters Network .

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