Encouragement – It’s God’s command. And there are many things in the world right now might find discouraging. And worse yet, it seems there are folks who want us to be discouraged. But you know outside circumstances should never be the determining factor in regards to encouragement. And a word about obedience is always appropriate, and in this case it’s a word about encouragement. Why? Because encouragement, for us, is a command. And I want to look at that command for the next few minutes, unpack it, and see what there is for us to learn. Then we will see what we can do to apply what we learn.
A command in Scripture, wherever we find it, is an essential activity or practice. So we should look at encouragement as an essential activity or practice. It’s something we ought to be about the business of doing. Furthermore, we should be doing it very intentionally. Our obedience is not haphazard or random!
I want to start with a negative word. A negative command is something we should not do. But even the negative orientation of a command points us to the positive. Take a look at Galatians 6:9-10 —
Do not lose heart in doing good for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity let us do good to all people and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
That verse opens with the negative: Do not... But it points us to a positive. There many commands given to us in Scripture. I should obey them. But I should also help fellow believers obey them. I’ll use commands related to marriage as my example. Scripture says husbands should love their wives. We all know that. Scripture also tells wives to respect their husbands.
If I’m a believing husband or believing wife, then I understand my spouse has commands from God about how to fulfill their role of husband or wife. How can I be obedient and at the same time help my spouse to be obedient? If the husband’s job is to love the wife, how can the wife be helpful? Be lovable! That seems so simple. This may have made you laugh. But it’s that simple. For the husband, if your wife’s job is to respect her husband then how do you help her be obedient to God’s command? You guessed it. Be respectable! Once again, it’s not complicated. And there’s your simple, humorous look at how we help each other with obedience.
Now, you can apply that principle across the board of Biblical commands. What if I had a problem? Let’s say I was a kleptomaniac, for example, and you knew I just could not help myself and found myself stealing at every opportunity. As my brother or sister in Christ you would help me with my problem by not leaving things out that I could take. This same principle is true with encouragement.
Encouragement – Starting Point
Now, on the positive side, we have a very overt command. It’s found in Hebrews 3:13. There we find:
But encourage one another day after day as long as it is still called today so that none of you will be hardened by
This is a very obvious starting place to see God’s intent for us to encourage one another. Do we all need encouragement?
Yes! You’ll find more in the video. And just so you know, the paragraphs above are a close transcription of the first 4+ minutes of the video.