November 12, 2017

More About Encouragement

Romans 12:1-8

If your gift is . . . serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement.

—  Romans 12:6-8

Encouragers are people who know Christ’s love and live by his words: “As I have loved you, so you must love one ­another” (John 13:34). Encouragers know that they have a gift provided through grace, and the Spirit works through them to build up God’s people.

Whom are we called to encourage? The list is endless. Paul often encouraged new believers by visiting the churches he helped to start. It’s also important that we encourage newcomers to the faith. They must not be left to fend for themselves; they need ongoing mentoring and encouragement in their new walk with Jesus.

We can also encourage followers who are timid, weak, and wandering. Kind words cheer up people who are discouraged by life and its complexities (Proverbs 12:25). Well-chosen words make a huge difference!

God gives encouragement through the Holy Spirit so that we can be more like him, glorifying him as we do so. There’s true joy found in encouraging others.

Encouragement can take the form of a gracious compliment, a simple meal, an appropriate hug, a brief visit, or a generous donation, reviving someone like water to a drooping plant. The opportunities are endless!

Whom can you encourage today?

Holy Spirit, empower us to be more Christlike in our encouragement of others as we journey through life together. Show us whom and how we can encourage in the name of Jesus and for his sake. Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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