July 22, 2012
"The Ministry of Encouragement"
Read Hebrews 10:19-25.
"Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds...."
Definition of Encouragement: "The act of putting courage into someone; to
inspire him/her with spirit, courage or hope." There are three things to consider:
First, we should consider the SOURCE OF ENCOURAGEMENT. 1) We receive
encouragement from CHRIST (10:19-22). 2) Encouragement comes through SALVATION.
"Let us draw near to God...in full assurance...." (10:22). 3) Encouragement comes
through WORSHIP. "Let us not give up meeting together...." (10:25). Ephesians 5:19-20 teaches us: "Speak to one another with
psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus
Second, we should consider the HOPE OF ENCOURAGEMENT. 1) We continually
receive encouragement as we "hold (fast) unswervingly to the hope we profess for
HE WHO PROMISED IS FAITHFUL" (10:23). 2) God promised to EQUIP US "FOR EVERY
GOOD WORK" through our study of His Word" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). 3) PRAYER is also Godís means
of encouragement. Philippians 4:6-7, "Do not be anxious about anything, but
in EVERYTHING, BY PRAYER AND PETITION, WITH THANKSGIVING, PRESENT YOUR REQUESTS
TO GOD. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your
hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Third, we should consider the FOCUS OF ENCOURAGEMENT. 1) We have received
the MINISTRY OF ENCOURAGEMENT to our brothers and sisters in Christ. "Let
us consider (think through carefully and develop a plan of action) how we may spur
(stir up) one another toward love and good deeds" (10:24). 2) Some of the reasons
to encourage one another are: a) The RETURN OF THE LORD: "...as you
see the Day approaching." (10:25). b) THE DECEITFULNESS OF SIN. "See to it,
brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from
the living God. But encourage one another daily...so that none of you may be hardened
by sinís deceitfulness" (Hebrews 3:12-13). c) How to treat ONE WHO FALLS INTO SIN:
"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore (medical
term: set a broken bone) him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted"
(Galatians 6:1-2). 3) Two EXAMPLES of those who gave
encouragement to others are Timothy and Epaphroditus in Philippians 2:19-30.
How will you encourage others? By visit, card, telephone, new neighbor, death
in family, moving, sickness, loss of job? You have been given the MINISTRY OF ENCOURAGEMENT
in Christ Jesus.