Encourage One Another

Posted on July 11, 2017 by Steve Willis in Article from The Messenger

“Encourage one another and build each other up, just as you have been doing.” (1 Thes. 5:11)

     Have you ever felt like you need to help someone deepen in their faith but you don’t know how? This hesitancy to encourage someone toward a greater walk with God is similar to someone’s hesitancy with regard to evangelism. I have found the number one reason people don’t share their faith with unbelievers is because they are either afraid someone may ask them a question and they won’t know the answer or they are afraid of the reaction they’ll get when they bring up the issue of faith and belief.  The hesitancy is to evangelize is based in fear just like the hesitancy to start discipling someone.  You’re afraid you won’t know what to do.

     I’m hoping to make this as easy as the Bible means it to be.

     Thus far in our discipleship series we’ve talked about the importance of just spending time with someone.  For the most part, disciples aren’t made in the classroom or sanctuary. They are made by experiencing life with others.  Step number one in discipling a fellow believer is just spending time with them.

     Step THREE is affirming people when they do something right.  We all like positive reinforcement, it’s clearly the best way to encourage any behavior or attitude, and it’s also clearly biblical.  After all, the words we all long to hear on judgment day are the affirming words from Jesus, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”  Praise goes a long way.

     The bridge between step ONE and THREE is indispensable. Many people spend time with friends and family members but that time together doesn’t yield fruitful discipleship.  Just giving positive words of affirmation won’t be enough either.

     STEP TWO is spending time in the Word of God.  Every day, God’s Word gives our soul the knowledge and nourishment it needs to nourish the souls of others.  Without it our affirming words may very well affirm the wrong things.  Without the Word, we don’t know how to pray or hear the Spirit’s leading, the Word is the key.  It’s not rocket science, the Spirit will guide you into truth, but you have to be in the Word.  If you aren’t sure what to read, that’s where you go to someone and let them disciple you into how to be immersed in the Word of God.

    I know we are on the cusp of taking this church to a new level of discipleship.  Let’s keep spending time with each other, basking in the light of His Word, and affirming godly attitudes, actions and beliefs in one another’s lives.

--Steve