Posts Tagged encouragement

Words of Life

John 6: 63

The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

There are multiple purposes for the Word of the Day. One is simply to bring some of God’s Word into your busy day. I can do the searching for you, mine the nuggets and send them to your inbox.

The Word brings encouragement so one of the other purposes, and a major piece of the Word of the Day, is to give you Words from God for your edification, Words which build you up and encourage you with His Good News. There are also Words of the Day meant to challenge your theology and thinking, driving you deeper into the bosom of God and His thoughts. Some Words are for direction and correction. These hopefully cause us to think about the status, direction and purpose of the church. We are the church and the way we think plots the course of the church so these Words of the Day offer questions about our beliefs and policies. Are we fulfilling the roles we purpose? Are we fulfilling our mandate?

Words of the Day are also meant to inspire a deeper relationship with our Father and to cause us all to seek Him with renewed vigor. They are also used to continually reveal the heart of the Father showing His endless love and kindness towards us all. This is a tall order for one devotional, but it is possible because it is God’s Word. I prefer devotionals based on God’s Word. That is why I send you a bit of God’s Word every day. There is a reason for that. His Word has power in it. It has the power to lift you when you are down, and to celebrate your victories. It empowers your visions and gives you hope. The Word is the Good News we all need daily. It is like taking a daily multi-vitamin. You need a lift and God has just the thing for you. I hope on your busiest days, you will at least read the part God wrote. Ignore the part I write if you are busy but get your dose of His word daily.

We all need a daily touch from God. This is one way for you to reach out and ingest a bit of His thought each day. Some Words of the Day will speak directly to your heart. Many times, God has used the Word of the Day to speak to a specific need of one of our members. He will do that at liberty. Other Words of the Day may be for a different day. In other words, they don’t hit you today. Just let those percolate. Their day will come and then you will have just the Word you need. They may not even be for you but rather for someone you will encounter. You may be surprised, as I often am, at how the Holy Spirit ministers life when you ponder these scriptures. Even when a Word of the Day doesn’t seem to speak to your current need, you may find, when you consider it, that there is a seed in there just for you. I find this to be true for myself. Also, there are times when I intend to write one thing and the Word of the Day goes off in an entirely different direction. I don’t stop to question it, the Holy Spirit has his reasons but then when I go back and read it I find education and edification for myself. Therefore, allow yourself the opportunity to contemplate the implications.

Lastly, another opportunity for the Word of the Day is to create a community forum where we can share our ideas and experiences. You may post your thoughts but you can also reply to others comments. Perhaps you have an experience which validates theirs. Of course, this community dialogue must always be motivated by the same inspiration as the Word, i.e. encouragement, edification, and praise.

All this ministry does, and specifically the Word of the Day, is intended to improve your quality of life and the quality of life of those you come in contact with through daily encounters with the Holy One. God has good plans for you AND His good plans for others will be affected by you. You are meant to live in peace and grace. Prosperity and health are your inheritance. You are also a powerful messenger of the love and power of God which is wrought in demonstrations rather than words, a gift rather than a sermon, a smile in place of condemnation. You are a powerful person whether you realize it or not and when you are coupled with the Word of God, you are divinely powerful. So, fill yourself with God’s Words. I will send you one daily. Then go out and change the world, or at least one person’s day. This is our joint ministry to the world.

Don’t Quit

Galatians 6: 9

And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.

Is there something or someone you have been praying for a long time? Or maybe it is some project you have been working on and haven’t seen the results you expected yet. Don’t give up! Don’t lose heart! Sometimes you may feel like you are never going to see the end result that you have been praying for but don’t let the appearance of situations determine your resolve. You have God’s word that you will eventually see the fruit of your prayers.

This piece of encouragement was put in the Bible because Father knows how wearisome it can be sometimes and He wishes to encourage you. He is hanging in there with you so don’t give up. You are going to reap. Even though it may be that you have been praying for years, don’t quit. Your answer is coming. It is in route. And what is going to happen to the people you are praying for if you quit? Who will pray for them if not you? Be encouraged. Know that God is aware of your persistence and that He is faithful. You will get your answer as long as you don’t quit.

Breaking Bread

Hebrews 10: 25

Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.

Many people take this verse to mean that we should attend church. Okay, that is a fair reading but I see so much more in here. This verse has always spoken to me equally, if not more so, in the context of personal relationships. Some of the best church I have every attended has been around a dinner table at a restaurant.

Implied here is that our assemblage has spiritual purpose. There is a verse which comes to mind. It is Ephesians 5: 19 which encourages “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.” Taken together, these two verses paint an image of people gathering socially but where the Word of the Lord is central to the get together.
You will have noticed that part of the purpose in gathering together is for encouraging one another. It isn’t about just having a beer with your friends. The real power of social gathering as well as church gatherings is to be an encouragement to each other. What brings more encouragement and hope than God’s Word? That is why speaking to one another in spiritual songs, psalms, etc. is prescriptive. Any word from God or about Jesus infuses hope. There is joy in our thoughts and words about the Lord. He instills within us the belief that all challenges are overcome in him. Problems melt away in his presence. Therefore, when you get together with your friends and the joy of the Lord is present, their burdens lose their weight.

No one is without problems. Jesus told us that in this world there is trouble. However, when we gather in the presence of the Lord, even if that is over a meal at a restaurant, those momentary troubles become less significant. Friends are important but Christian friends are a blessing from God. So the next time you gather to break bread with your friends, remember Jesus. Share his goodness at the table. It is good for your digestion, good for your soul and good for your friends.

Encourage, Stimulate, Motivate

Hebrews 10: 24

Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.

The key word in this verse is “stimulate.” Other versions use the word “encourage.” We have a role in the body of Christ which is to encourage. I take special note that the verse isn’t giving me permission or license to boss others, or harangue them. We are to be encouragers. Usually judgment and criticism do not make the best encouragement. How, then, can we stimulate others to demonstrate the love of God and to express that love in kind deeds?

I suppose the first step in leadership is to be a good follower so we might look at our leaders, those who encourage us in the faith, for clues. The second step might be to lead by example. I doubt we will be able to stimulate others into any course of action which we do not first model.

This passage is not intended to stimulate ourselves or others into empty, dead works. Works which are not motivated by love will eventually smell like so much rotten fruit. The good deeds come out of love. They are an expression of the love of God. That is why the author mentioned love first. When love comes, a natural by-product is kind, good deeds.

One thing we can all do is to remark on people’s kind gestures of the goodness of God. We can acknowledge them. You know people who ooze kindness. A word of appreciation to them certainly would not go amiss. Perhaps you are a business owner or a supervisor. You have opportunities to praise people and even reward their acts of kindness. Doing so conveys a clear message that love inspired kindness is something you value. Of course, do not overlook what you can teach your children. However, if there is anyone in your circle of friends, family and co-workers who demands a model, it is your children. They will do what they see you do and they will most certainly notice if you are all talk.

In all ways, be an encourager. People need to be lifted up daily. Give them honest praise and recognition. Plant your seeds of kindness in them and you will see the harvest in the fruit of their actions.

Tired, Weary and Aching

Isaiah 40:29

He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power.

I am ministering to myself today, tonight actually. It is late in the evening and I owe you a Word of the Day in the morning. I am tired, weary even, my back hurts and I just do not have the strength in myself to produce a Word of the Day. What shall I do? Fortunately, as we all know, our Father gives strength to the weary. What may distinguish me from some people is that I know from experience that I can call upon Him in this time of need. I have had to rely on His strength before.

I hope you have the means to find strength, encouragement and the wisdom for every need. I use www.biblegateway.com to help me find verses to fit my need. I also have a link to Bible Gateway on my website so that you will always be able to find the help you need. Our Word of the Day is archived on our website. It is also searchable. You can find every time in the last ten or so years when I have written about a specific topic. We also have an “Ask Ivey” section on the website where you can write your question and I will answer you. To access any of these resources go to www.iveyministries.org.

Our Father will lead you to passages from His book, which will strengthen and encourage you. I sat down tonight with my computer and searched Bible Gateway for the two words which were most prominent in my mind: strength and weary. You see that Father gave me a perfect verse. He met me at my point of need and filled me. He will do this for you too.

If you are tired and do not feel up to the task ahead, keep re-reading today’s verse and let it minister strength to you.

Strength and Courage

Psalm 27: 14

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.
This is certainly a good verse for teaching about waiting on the Lord. I was really intrigued, though, over the line, “let your heart take courage.” I see in those words that we must make a decision to be encouraged. We have to decide to let our hearts fill with encouragement. You can choose to be discouraged or you can choose to be encouraged. Perhaps it takes strength to allow yourself to stand in courage instead of living in discouragement because David tells us to be strong. Certainly, in waiting on the Lord, you must decide to “faint not.” That means, don’t give up. Don’t give up on God or let your faith founder while you are waiting. Waiting in faith does take backbone. You have to decide to stand regardless of the appearance of the situation around you. You must decide to keep on confessing words of faith even when the circumstances appear bleak. You have to decide to let your heart be filled with courage. You can even learn to encourage yourself when you don’t have an encourager to do it for you. You purposefully decide to be of good courage. You purposefully decide to believe God and his word instead of letting your heart fall into discouragement. If you have felt discouragement lately, take heart; be of good courage because now you know that you can affect the condition of your heart. Allow yourself to be encouraged. Allow your heart to be filled with courage. The Word of God is the best encourager there is. Get in there and let your heart be full of the encouragement of the Lord.

Building a Body

1 Thessalonians 5: 11

Therefore, encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Each day presents us with opportunities to interact with other people. Do we ignore people or do we say a friendly “Hello?” Do we spend more time tearing people down or building them up? You have so much power. You can strongly affect other people’s day or even their self-esteem. And how do we talk to children? Do we allow them to make mistakes and encourage them or are we always critical and reproving? Do you encourage and build up the children around you? I wish to encourage you to use your power for good. Reach out to people. Say “Hello” to strangers. Encourage someone who is down or who makes a mistake. Build people up and make them stronger. And pray for others as you do. You will be doing your heavenly Father a big favor and he will be very proud of you. 

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