Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Paul was writing to the Thessalonians of the coming of the Lord in the verse mentioned above. During these last days here on earth, let's continue to encourage others and build each other up.

The Greek word for encourage is parakaleĊ. Let's look at some of the meanings below:

1) to call to one's side, call for, summon
2) to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc.
a) to admonish, exhort
b) to beg, entreat, beseech
1) to strive to appease by entreaty
c) to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation, to comfort
1) to receive consolation, be comforted
d) to encourage, strengthen
e) exhorting and comforting and encouraging
f) to instruct, teach

In what ways do we summon others and teach them, comforting and exhorting them in these days (weeks, months, years) before Christ's return? We need to literally beg others to make Jesus the Lord of their lives if they are not in a saving relationship with Him. Wouldn't it be a shame not to encourage and strengthen others, teaching them about Christ and have them miss out on Heaven because we neglected to share Him with others?

I am very shy when it comes to face-to-face witnessing. I don't have a hard time talking to Christian friends at all about Christ and the matters of my faith; however, set me in front of someone who is in need of salvation and I stumble over my words. I can write to them all the day long about it, but a face-to-face conversation scares me. I have missed opportunities to share Christ with others boldly. I tend more to lead by example and strive to make my walk one that I hope would engage a person to talk with me about what I have that they don't (and that has happened.) I can comfortably share when they open the door to the conversation, but I just can't seem to initiate a conversation about it.

I finally figured out what the reason for this was. When I was a senior in high school we had a Crusade where I was a counselor. Sure enough when the altar call was given on my night, a girl in my class came down. She actually chose not to receive Christ that night! I was very discouraged over it and pursued the matter with her once at school. She told me bascially to shut up about it or I would push her farther away. My grandmother told me not to take it personally, that maybe I had planted a seed and all that. Still, rejecting my Savior hurt and I wonder if I could have done anything differently to change things.

Satan loves to plant seeds of doubt like that. He tells me that I cannot witness effectively and I believe him. I get tongue tied. He tells me that I shouldn't even try and I go years without sharing my faith with others, selfishly keeping Jesus to myself.

And then one day I read this verse. "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV) Christ tells me through the apostle Paul to encourage others and bring them closer to Him. He tells me that I am able to encourage. It is a verb, implying action!

We are also admonished to build each other up. The Greek word for this phrase is oikodomeĊ. It means:

1) to build a house, erect a building
a) to build (up from the foundation)
b) to restore by building, to rebuild, repair
2) metaph.
a) to found, establish
b) to promote growth in Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness, blessedness
c) to grow in wisdom and piety

I am now on a mission to promote growth in Christ among those who are saved and those who aren't. I want people to grow in wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness and blessedness. I want to plant seeds in their hearts that cause them to come to a saving knowledge of my precious Savior and Lord. No more keeping Him to myself!

Are you shy about witnessing to others? Find ways to encourage others and build them up before Christ returns. Pray about what may be hindering you from sharing His love, and take action to encourage and build others up in Christ!
Time is drawing short. I believe that we are living in the last days, and I believe God has a harvest out there ready to reap.
But how will they know if we don't encourage them and build them up?

E - Encourage others now; don't delay. "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." ~ Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)

N - Never believe the lies of the enemy; believe the promise of Christ. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." ~ John 10:10 (NIV)

C - Commit your plan to encourage others to God. "Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun." ~ Psalm 37:5-6 (NIV)

O - Open your heart receive the words God would have you say. "Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, " ~ Ephesians 6:19 (NIV)

U - Understand that we merely plant the seeds; God causes them to grow. "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow." ~ 1 Corinthians 3:6 (NIV)

R - Read the Word of God daily so you stay prepared to encourage others. "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." ~ 2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)

A - Act wisely when you encourage others to come to know God. "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." ~ Colossians 4:5-6 (NIV)

G - Go to God in prayer in humility in order encourage others to come to know Him. "We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is for your perfection." ~ 2 Corinthians 13:9 (NIV)

E - Examine your heart and make sure you are walking your talk. "May my heart be blameless toward your decrees, that I may not be put to shame." ~ Psalm 119:80 (NIV)

The purpose of WFW is to share the Word of God through photo's and a verse. Amydeanne, over at The 160 Acre Woods, is our hostess. Be sure to link up and share your own, and drop her a thank you for hosting this wonderful meme each week. It always blesses my heart to read all the posts and see the photos and verses. This is a wonderful way to minister to others and to be ministered to by reading others posts. Please visit by clicking on the button below.





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29 comments:

LAURIE said...

What a great reminder that time is short. Today is the day to be bold in our faith. Thanks for this word today - Love, Laurie

Denise said...

Bless you for sharing this, love you.

Michele Williams said...

What a wonderful reminder to encourage one another in Christ and to those who need the Lord. YOu are right... we are not to be too pushy... God will open the doors...
Blessings my friend.

Debra said...

Laurie Ann,

I tend to think I am bold but when I see my son in action or when he tells me how many times he witnesses in a day when he is at work, etc ...I think I must not be bold at all! lol

Your post was beautiful, my friend. Happy WFW!

Alexis said...

Thank YOU for being one of those people who builds others up! Have a great WFW!

Beth in NC said...

That was wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

I pray each of us would be willing/open vessels for God's use -- pointing as many to Him as possible.

Happy WFW!
Beth

Tammy said...

We have been discussing encouraging each other in Bible study - thank you for sharing your thoughts. Great verse!

Melanie said...

As always, a great post! It is so important that we encourage and lift up one another. May we always remember that time is short and it must be done today.

Happy WFW!

He And Me + 3 said...

What a great post. I do encourage, but I do need to be more bold as well in my witnessing. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

Blessed Mom of 8 said...

Laurie Ann - this was another beautiful post filled with so much empowering and inspiring information!

Thank you!

In His amazing grace,
Jill

Dawn said...

Laurie Ann...girl you already know (or at least I hope you do) just how amazing I think you are. The way you open your heart to others and the way you share you love of God....it's just a blessing!

♥ ya'

Peggy said...

Amazing & awesome photo and perfect verse Laurie Ann...clearly God is speaking to you and you are sharing & blessing us!

How transparent & beautiful! I can so relate and I'm not shy at all! But when I've tried to share Jesus & I fail, it really does set you back,slap you in the face, hurt and wonder. WOW! It's quite powerful all you share!

Thank you for speaking God's Word & encouraging others in your writings! Your day will come & you will be free to try once more face to face! Meanwhile, you're doing great...right her...right now & each powerful study & prayer from your heart to ours!

I wanted to link this up for next Monday's, Mission 4 Monday meme but you have no link but your regular URL so that will just give whatever you have that day! So think about
linking on Monday this post!

lori said...

Laurie Ann...those seeds of doubt are planted by satan and we fall for it....
Most of us have found ourselves victims of it....IF we would build each other UP, what an amazing Christian community we'd build...instead be bicker and selfishly hurt each other, wounding parts of one body...

great thoughts here...thank YOU for sharing such wisdom...
always a blessing!
peace,
lori

Susan said...

Hey Sweet Laurie Ann!

This was wonderful. And it describes YOU perfectly!!!

I'm always built up and encouraged each time I visit your site.

Have a blessed day♥

Joyfull said...

Wow, thank you for sharing a beautiful and powerful post. Love speaks and encouragement speak volumes. Truly those around us need the Lord and God can use our encouragement to bring them to Him.

hennhouse said...

What a great reminder--the verse, the lesson, and the image.

Thank you!

Happy WFW!

Alicia, The Snowflake said...

Amen! What a great reminder. We should always be about the Father's business. But may we never forget that there are many different ways to fulfill His work.

Happy WFW!

Groovewoman ♫ said...

Your verse is VERY appropriate for what you did for me today on my WFW post. You raised my spirits. Thank you for your sweet comment!

Happy WFW!
Groovewoman

hip chick said...

this is a lovely verse. We should all be encouraging eachother in living Godly lives.

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

That is such an important verse- Satan really tempts, especially women, to fall into the trap of gossip and this is a good verse to keep in mind!

Thanks for leaving me a sweet comment on my Feel CHIC blog.

Heather said...

Thank You for such an EYE opening post. I love your encourage acrostic, have a Blessed day.
Heather

Amydeanne said...

Laurie, you're amazing attention to detail just blows me away!
Bless you

Carrie said...

Your posts are amazing...they are so well-considered and well written. They give much inspiration and encouragement. Thank you for your Christian witness.

Pam D said...

That was beautiful, Laurie Ann.. and it certainly touches a nerve. I, too, can talk all day about Christ to my friends who are believers, but I have a much harder time witnessing to those who aren't. I guess one of the biggest parts of witnessing is "walking the walk"... living my beliefs every day. That is as big of a witness as anything my stumbling tongue can push out... or bigger. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful piece of your heart...

God Chaser said...

building up each other- encourgeing one another- great advice. I really like C. Be blessed

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Great verse Laurie Ann, and just reading it tonight is a great PICK ME UP!!!
I've missed yall so much!
You're definitely AN ENCOURAGER, AND BUILDER UPPER!!!
God bless you!
L

Joanne Sher said...

Incredible - so much to learn from here.

LauraLee Shaw said...

This is absolutely GORGEOUS, Laurie Ann. Not only in the visual worship, but in the message as well. Wow. Just love it!

LauraLee Shaw said...

BTW, YOU are one of the people that encourages me on a regular basis. It never feels false with you. Always real and specific. Thank YOU, sister.