September 29, 2008

Joyful Encouragement

Philippians 4:14-23

My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19


“Two are better than one” (Ecclesiastes 4:9). These words invite followers of Jesus to exercise the same type of encouragement Paul writes about in today’s Scripture reading.

We know that a thank-you note, a commendation from a manager, or the thumbs-up signal from a parent may be a source of much-needed encouragement.

We need encouragement in the face of the world’s negative influences, our sinful nature, and the devil.

Believers are to encourage one another to be strong in faith against the works of Satan.

Believers are also called to encourage one another to be calm in the midst of trials and to find hope in the midst of death.

In addition, believers are to encourage one another to listen to the Word in order to live self-controlled lives in the midst of their struggle with the sinful nature and Satan’s deceptions.

The ultimate goal of mutual encouragement is to prepare believers for the day they meet Jesus face to face. While Jesus himself is the greatest source of encouragement, he still chooses to nurture his children through the lives of people who together share hope in him.

Take time to encourage or be encouraged as we together look forward to that great and joyful day!

Lord, thank you for the gift of relationships. Help us to both give and receive encouragement so that Christ will shine in and through us into the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Calvin Hoogendoorn

Rev. Calvin Hoogendoorn serves as senior pastor of First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Previously he served two churches in Illinois. He and his wife, Carla, have three daughters.

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