January 28, 2007


2 Chronicles 30:21-27

Hezekiah spoke encouragingly ... 2 Chronicles 30:22


Last summer I ran a 3.2-mile race. The temperature was over 90 degrees F, and for the last mile of that race, I was not sure I would finish. But as I took the final turn, there was a crowd of people cheering for all the runners as they came in! Suddenly my legs felt a little lighter, and I made it to the finish line, carried along on a wave of encouragement.

Living for God is often a sweaty, difficult process, so we need to encourage one another. Hezekiah was a great encourager. When the Levites had to retrain themselves to do the work of the Lord, "Hezekiah spoke encouragingly" to them--even though they made a few mistakes along the way.

It is God's great gift to each of us as parents, as church members, as spouses, to build each other up and be cheerful encouragers.

On that hot day when I finished that race, someone handed me two glasses of water and then some fruit. How rewarding that was--and how exciting to be with the other runners, all smiling and congratulating each other. There was a great feeling of accomplishment.

Serving Jesus is worthwhile. Someday we will all be rewarded with his gift of full life, and we'll celebrate together and with God. In the meantime, be a Hezekiah Christian--one who has an encouraging word to say.

Lord, give me the eyes to see the good in your people, and give me genuine words of encouragement so that I can help strengthen others. In your name I pray. Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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