“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light;
and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.” Mt 10:27
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near (Heb 10:25 NLT).
God put on my heart to share about this wonderful verse. It is a very important verse to make a continual, daily practice, especially in this season as it is obvious that the return of Jesus, our King, is drawing near.
The word "encourage" is parakaleo in Greek. It comes from para (side of, alongside, beside) and kaleo (call). Therefore, it means to call one alongside, to call someone to oneself, to call for and to summon. Simply, to come alongside and encourage.
Parakaleo can include the idea of giving help or aid, comfort or exhortation (to urge someone to take some action) but always at the root there is the idea of enabling a person to meet some difficult situation with confidence and courage.
The phrase “one another” stands out to me in that it goes two ways. I have a friend who tells me I am an encourager and I am constantly telling her that she is an encourager. This is such an example of encouraging one another. I will tell you that it is such a joy and a blessing! I love to encourage others. I love to see how they respond and what the Lord does with it. Also, being on the receiving end many times, I can tell you that without encouragement of other brothers and sisters, I would not have been able to keep going!
A couple of personal stories come to mind. Years ago, when I was counselling out of my home downtown, I had just finished a very difficult meeting with someone. After the person left I was ‘done’, discouraged, wanting to give up. I had nothing left. At that moment two of my brothers in the Lord came into the office not knowing what had been going on with me, but saying that the Lord told them to come and see me and encourage me and pray for me!!! WOW!!! Of course I was bawling and was so encouraged to not give up and to keep going. Their simple act of hearing from and being obedient to the Lord meant so much to me.
Another story that comes to mind is a more recent one. I have a dear friend who is going through a very difficult season. She had sent me a picture of her which was taken while walking with a friend one day. It was a picture of freedom and joy! It was all over her face and countenance. The Lord put on my heart to print and frame the picture and give it to her. WOW! I was so blessed by the look on her face when I gave her the picture. She told me that she looks at it every day and it is continuing to encourage her to keep going.
I want to encourage you that as you spend time with the Lord each day, Holy Spirit will put people on your heart who need encouragement. When you act on what Holy Spirit is telling you to do by praying, sending a text or an e-mail with a word of encouragement, making a phone call, planning a visit, helping or giving. It will help the person to keep going through any difficult situation. In return you will be filled with joy and will be so blessed.
The bible says to encourage one another in love (1 Peter 1:22), unto good works (Heb 10:24), by regular fellowship (Heb 10:25), by maintaining confidence (Heb 10:35), with the sure hope of Jesus’s return (1 Thess 4:13-18) and unto steadfastness and perseverance (1 Co 15:58),
As the day of the Lord’s return grows closer, we, as followers of Jesus, will be experiencing more challenges, trials, tribulations and persecution. We need to be encouraging one another so much more!
Please ask yourself who you have encouraged today or who has encouraged you? Let’s agree to not just be a receiver of encouragement, but a giver too. Let’s agree to nurture the ‘ministry of encouragement’ by making this a daily practice.
Be a joy and a blessing and in return, be filled with joy and be blessed!
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches...” Rev 2:7