TODAY'S WORD FOR Wednesday, November 07, 2018:
To inspire or stimulate by guidance or by approval; to give hope; to reassure; to hearten; to cheer.
But command Joshua, and encourage him and strengthen him; because he shall go before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which you will see.
That I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, namely Christ.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
All of us need encouragement from time to time to spur us on not only when we are facing what we feel to be a new challenge in our life but also in our daily challenges. We recently read an article about an accountant for a large corporation. For thirty years he had been faithful to his work and seemed to always be in control of what he was doing. He committed suicide and a note was found. The words tell us as Christians something that should drive us to action. It said that for thirty years no one had ever given him one word of encouragement, even at the church where he attended. His note closed by saying: “I AM FED UP!”
Parents understand how important it is to encourage their children. Any time a child experiences something that is new to them they are naturally wary. How children handle those firsts such as the first day of school, the first visit to the doctor’s office, or the first dental appointment often depends on the assurance and encouragement they receive from their parents. Children need encouragement to make them confident. We saw this constantly with our own children.
Encouragement is vital in the developing of positive and productive attitudes in facing life’s challenges. When a child, and an adult as well, is constantly discouraged they lose hope and despair sets in. When hope is gone life does not seem worthwhile.
The Apostle Paul was probably the most effective encourager mentioned in the Bible. Paul saw that faith in Christ gives believers a common bond and a mutual purpose in life, which enables them to encourage each other by their faith.
Paul wrote in his letter to the church at Rome that he was praying for God’s will that the way would be opened for him to come to see them. He longed to see them as he says in Romans 1:12 (above) so that they could mutually encourage each other by their faith.
Paul had heard that the church at Colosse and the church at Laodicea were struggling because there were false teachings going on in their churches. He wrote the letter to Colossians so that both churches could come together to encourage each other in their faith. In Colossians 2:2 (above) Paul says his purpose in writing to them was that they would be encouraged and knit together by their love for the Lord and by their knowledge of the mystery of God which is salvation through Jesus Christ.
Paul on his second missionary journey established a church in Thessalonica and later when he heard they needed guidance he encouraged that church by sending Timothy to them. And when he was in custody waiting for trial because of his preaching, he wrote the church at Philippi that he would also send Timothy to them. Truly Paul was an encourager always looking out for his fellow believers need for encouragement. He always would respond by going himself or sending a fellow worker.
The Bible has given us so many examples of leaders that needed encouragement and asked God for the encouragement they needed. For example, when Joshua took over the leadership of the Children of Israel from Moses, he needed some encouragement because of the battles that he would face against godless enemies in conquering the Promised Land. So God told Moses to encourage Joshua. How would you feel if you had to step into the shoes of Moses and God said to you “GO AND LEAD?”
Through Moses God gave a clear outline as to how Joshua should proceed. Joshua had been trained for this day but he still needed encouragement. God told Joshua several things. First, to rise up and go, second, that no man would stand before him, and thirdly assured him that He (GOD) would be with him just like He was with Moses.
Then fourthly God told Joshua to be strong and courageous, and fifthly to lead like Moses did and teach from the law (the Bible). And finally God told Joshua to meditate day and night on His Word.
That is the encouragement that Joshua needed and today if we will apply these same principles to our lives as God commanded Joshua we will be encouraged every day of our life and we will be encouragers to others. We all need encouragement and like Paul and Timothy and Moses, we all have the responsibility to show God’s love by encouraging others. You cannot speak a kind word too soon. A word of encouragement can make a difference between giving up or going on.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Psalm 23:6.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Help me to make the time I have each day be productive in serving You. Keep me diligent in reading Your Word so that I can find the encouragement I need every day. Help me to be faithful in following You. Help me to always be an encourager to those who are discouraged.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution and Ministry Director for World Bible Society, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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