I love these words from St. Paul to the church in Rome, “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” (Romans 1:11-12)
This should be normal in the church. The pastor invests his life into people and encourages them as they develop and grow. As they grow they reciprocate and pass on this encouragement.
Quite frankly, I believe the church should be the most encouraging place in the whole world!
We are a group of people who openly acknowledge our brokenness but embrace hope and love as we develop spiritual, emotional, relational, financial, etc. health! We acknowledge our various, unhealthy life patterns, but we are not disheartened by them! We are encouraged to press on as we see our friends and family developing into men and women who act more and more like our Leader (Jesus). We keep leaning into this new way of life, encouraged by each other and enabled by the power we receive from God.
An exciting part of ministry for me is seeing people’s lives change as they commit to following the teachings of Christ, and embrace the life of faith. But perhaps even more exciting than that is watching them reach a point where they are no longer an “encouragement sponge” but begin evolving into an “encouragement bucket” pouring out encouragement into other people’s lives!
So in the spirit of encouragement I pray for you today that you will:
- Experience laughter that takes your breath away
- Receive a hug from a friend or a family member
- Tangibly know the deep love of God for you
- Encourage someone today with a word or an action