5 Reasons we should be actively encouraging others
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SERIES—Part 1
Perhaps it could be said that in the Christian faith, there are two kinds of "encouragers."

Those who encourage their fellow Christians occasionally—and those who encourage frequently.

And which kind do you think our Lord desires us to be?

Although some Christians are active encouragers—unfortunately, the concept of encouragement for many others has become an "extinct species."

So, here are 5 reasons to remind us why we must always be ACTIVE in fulfilling the vital Biblical commands to encourage others in the faith:



#1: Because this is what our Lord wants us to do

It's quite clear in reading the Bible that every Christian must be an active encourager—meaning, continually involved in encouraging others.

Please consider carefully the following collection of verses:
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
(Heb 3:13)

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
(1 Thes 5:11)

I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.
(Rom 1:11-12)

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
(2 Tim 4:2)

When he [Barnabas] arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.
(Acts 11:23)

Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers.
(Acts 15:32)

After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia's house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left.
(Acts 16:40)

...Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by and set out for Macedonia. He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece...
(Acts 20:1-2)

...everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort...
For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.

(1 Cor 14:3, 31)

Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.
(Eph 6:22)
And these are not all the verses about encouragement in the New Testament—by any means.

As you can see, mutual encouragement is a HUGE part of our corporate responsibilities as Christians. It's vital to the church beyond words.

Thus, we must obey the Biblical commands to "encourage actively" because it is God's will.

After all, we're saved because of Christ's tremendous sacrifice to take away our sins.

We're therefore eternally and gladly indebted to Him as our Lord—unless we decide to turn away from His grace.

Since He is our "Lord," that means we must simply follow His commands (John 14:15), and actively search out what pleases Him (Ephesians 5:10)—as any sincere servant would do for a Master he loved.

And since the Bible is the "New Contract" (or "New Testament") Christ died to bring into effect—therefore to please Him we must obey the terms of this "New Contract."

Meaning, among many other things, we must be actively encouraging all our brothers and sisters in Christ.



#2: Because doing so gives the recipient spiritual strength

We live in a world that can be cruel and unforgiving. A world where the selfish motives of men can cause sincere Christians to suffer. The Bible warned us this would be the case.

Thus, it certainly helps when—upon frequently interacting with our fellow Christians—we are "built up" and encouraged.

Conversely, when we encourage our brothers and sisters, it can have a tremendous positive effect. It builds people up. It increases their faith—just as it does ours when we are the recipients.

It also increases their love and ability to pass on encouragement to others. Not to mention, it solidifies our relationship with that person as a true, spiritual "brother or sister" in Christ.

Just one sincerely spoken, kind moment of encouragement can make a huge difference. It can lift an otherwise discouraging day to the level of "tolerable" or even better.

And, plainly, when churches are filled with joyous, encouraging Christians, what advantage do you think they have to attract others to the faith? Jesus said:
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples—if you love one another.
(John 13:34-35)




#3: Because it helps create a spiritual family

The church is to be a Christian "family." We are called "brothers and sisters" in Christ (James 2:1).

God is our Father. We are His adopted children (Romans 8), and Christ is the "only begotten" Son of God's.

Because we are—so long as we remain faithful—God's adopted children, that means we have waiting for us an eternal inheritance dwarfing anything Forbes' 10 wealthiest CEOs could possibly comprehend.

So, since we are a spiritual family, we must function as one.

And just as any functional, earthly family is a support group that encourages and supports the other members—so should the church be.

We should be there for others to continually lean on us for spiritual support, encouragement, and comfort.

Obviously, a congregation that is encouraging is one that is demonstrating the love of Christ, our Lord. And that love and encouragement fosters the "spiritual family environment" God wants us to always have.

Such nurturing family environments are fully capable of welcoming new "babes in Christ" into the church.





PART 2

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