One of the greatest things we can do is to encourage one another. As First Senior’s at First Baptist Church we need to give acts of encouragement to one another. I had a Music Minister at one of my churches who used to say, “I just can’t do that.” My response was always the same, “I think you can.” There are two primary Greek words for encouragement in the New Testament. The verb form of encourage means, “To urge forward or persuade.”
It has the idea of standing behind someone and gently pushing them. It is a gentle nudge behind another believer. The noun form of encourage means, “A calling to one’s aid.” It has the idea of standing still beside someone. It is the power of presence. Just standing by someone. In I Thessalonians 1:12 the Apostle Paul says, “We exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.” The Apostle Paul was a great encouragement to young Timothy who was his son in the ministry. He is standing by Timothy’s side and cheering him on. In II Timothy 2:15 Paul is encouraging Timothy to be a good student of the Word of God. Listen to Paul’s encouragement in that verse, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” What an awesome encouragement this is for all of us. Notice 4 words of encouragement that Paul shares.
· The believers mandate – v.15, “diligent” That word means to be zealous and active knowing that one day we will stand before the Lord. We are to handle the Word of God accurately.
· The believers motivation – v.15, “approved” That word reminds us of the day when standing before the Lord we want to hear, “well done.” We should want and long for His approval on our lives. Don’t be a people pleaser, be instead a God pleaser.
· The believers manner – v.15, “need not be ashamed” We need a no shame mentality when it comes to our service. When we stand before the Lord one day we need no shame for our lives and testimony.
· The believers message – v.15, “rightly handling the word of truth.” We need to strive for the right interpretation of the Word. Paul encourages Timothy to not twist or mishandle the Scriptures. We are to remember that the best commentary on scripture is scripture.
Paul was a great encourager to Timothy. Paul stood by his side and gently nudged him when he got out of line. The amazing thing is that Timothy began to be a great encourager. Listen to this verse found in I Thessalonians 3:2, “and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith.” Each one is to encourage one another. As First Seniors at First Baptist Church we have a calling and mandate to encourage one another. I encourage you to make a phone call, send an email or a card to someone this week. It will make their day.
Blessings for encouragement!
Rev. Richard Humphries
Pastoral Care & Sr. Adult Minister