Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13)

Good and Comfortable Words

Tuesday, April 05, 2005
they are so soothing...

Is there anything sweeter than receiving a kind word, an encouragement from a brother/sister in the Lord? It's like a glass full of icy water in the middle of a dry and arid desert. And you know what? According to the Scriptures, Christians should be doing this, and doing it often:

"Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves." (1 Timothy 5:11-13)

"But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." (Hebrews 3:13)

"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works." (Hebrews 10:24)

So, do you do it? I will admit I don't do it nearly enough (and I say this to my shame). Being an encouragement to another believer, like all other spiritual gifts, takes some practice; to some, it almost comes naturally, to others, it's a whole lot of work. It doesn't come to easily to me, but I'm working on it.

I thank God I have received much encouragement from fellow saints thoughout my Christian life; their encouragement was both a refreshment and an example. An example that I am responsible to follow.

Here are just a few examples of great encouragement/admonishment that I have received in the last few months. I post these as a sincere "thank you" to the authors of these sweet words, and as a standard for us to emulate. I'm keeping them anonymous for two reasons: I didn't ask any of them if I could use their words, and I wanted to help them keep their right hand from knowing what their left hand was doing (Matthew 6:3-4):

-"Hey! how's it going? I just wondered if you would like a cup of coffee? I'm really glad that you are here (on our street corner) preaching the Bible on such a cold night."

(a young brethen man in the city marketplace)

-"Once in a while after reading some of the shallow reactions people write into my blog (without naming anyone specific) there comes a time when I wonder how I can angle future content to be of any use to them, but there's always you my brother, and a few others who are sharp and sound to remind me that God has preserved a few wise people in this day. So, Ijust wanted to write you again to thank you for chiming in as often as you do. God bless - and let His grace continue in our dialogue."

(a fellow Baptist blogger)

-"As I read through your many posts, the thought of the big love of the LORD freshened my morning. I love to preach evangelize as you and have same experiences. I wanted to encourage you as a brother. Amazing I came to understand the doctrines of grace about six years ago and like you have been transformed. If there is any thing I can do please let me know! You have encouraged me as a brother. The WORD you are preaching on Friday nights, if you were not there preaching would not be heard. You may be tired, but GOD is using the WORD to save the elect{2 peter 3:9}!"

(a brother who visited my blog a few days ago)

-"Hi Brother Rand! I'm glad to see you out tonight. We prayed for you this afternoon. God bless you."

(a street evangelist from another evangelical church in my city)

Now please, don't take this post as me fishing for compliments, that really isn't the point. I can take criticism; rebuke and correction have their place in the Christian experience. The point is simply this: these words put a smile on my face for the entire day in which I heard them. They were kind, and that kindness profited me spiritually. Imagine how much good we could do to our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord if we just remained faithful at encouraging one another.

I'll be doing my best to encourage and admonish this week...won't you do the same?