As Christians, we have a duty to seek the best in and for each other. In our relationships, we are called to be a source of encouragement, hope, truth, and strength.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
How do we stir one another up to love and good works? We continually point them to the One who gave His life so that we may have life. By reassuring our brothers and sisters of God’s truth and wisdom and His love and compassion for them – both in our words and action toward them, as well as by the example we set in our own daily living, we are able to strengthen them.
Who Needs Building Up?
Everyone! As we travel this road on our way Home, we’re told to be mindful of those that we come into contact with. In the case of those closest to us, it’s likely we will know their present circumstances; the joys and the pain. And this knowledge should be put to good use; so that we can meet their current need for comfort, encouragement, hope, and godly wisdom. Or perhaps we can do the job with just a smile, pat on the back and a heartfelt “good job!“.
Even in the case of our brothers and sisters whom we don’t know quite so well, we should still strive to be a source of strength to them. A kind word, an interest in their live’s; any small gesture really, can go a long way toward building one up and demonstrating the love of Christ at a time when they may need it.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up… (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Get Outside of Yourself
Throughout the Bible we see instruction in being a source of God’s wisdom, love, and strength for all those that accompany us on this journey. And with our own struggles and adversity to navigate, it can be difficult to remember that others face tough roads as well. But the Bible doesn’t command only those that seem to have it “all together” to go out and do for others…it commands all Christians to live in the spirit of love and service to others. Often I have found that when I turn my focus more outward, onto other people, and seek to know and help with their battles, my own seem to be far less significant. And in seeking to comfort and encourage others, we will likely find ourselves being encouraged as well.
…the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Jonathan: An Example of Comfort, Reassurance, & Truth
Likely the Bible’s best example of a godly unselfish friend, Jonathan, at personal risk to himself, sought out a troubled David to provide him with encouragement and reassurance when he needed it. David, forced to hide in caves and wander the desert to avoid being captured and killed by an angry Kind Saul, was familiar with the feeling of anxiety, uncertainty, and fear. And in this time of uncertainty for David, his friend Jonathan knew what the future king needed: he needed a friend who would go out of his way to speak words of encouragement and comfort to him. Not only that, but Jonathan assured David of God’s plan for him, along with his pledge to always support his friend, saying “and I shall be next to you”.
One day near Horesh, David received the news that Saul was on the way to Ziph to search for him and kill him. Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God. “Don’t be afraid,” Jonathan reassured him. “My father will never find you! You are going to be the king of Israel, and I will be next to you, as my father, Saul, is well aware.” So the two of them renewed their solemn pact before the Lord. (1 Samuel 23:16-18a NLT)
Keep your eyes open today for opportunities to build up a brother or sister in Christ. Encourage, uplift, and comfort someone today by reassuring them of God’s faithfulness and love for His adopted children.
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,
but a good word makes him glad.
Article originally posted at Fall And Die Blog: http://fallanddie.com/provoke-unto-love-good-works/