Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

We Should Be Encouragers

1 Thessalonians 4:17-18

17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Therefore encourage one another. What is it that would encourage us dear readers? When we’re trying to lose weight or put it on – doesn’t it encourage us when people notice and say something? When we are trying to change our shape – exercising more or watching what we eat – it is nice when people notice. Try to notice others and not be so narcissistic – focused on self so much.

Therefore encourage one another. What is it that would encourage us dear readers? Yesterday I played in a golf tournament. I had one of my worst rounds in a long time. I think I was pressing – trying too hard just 12 weeks after rotator cuff surgery. My arm actually started to hurt near the end of the round. I was playing with a couple of friends and wanted to do well. Yet – it wasn’t about me playing well – it was about my friends and our guest having a good time. I began to take my focus off of my golf game and spent most of the day encouraging my partners. I told them how well they were playing (even if that was a stretch at times) and praised their good shots (like the awesome approach shot by one player followed by another player hitting an amazing and hard putt for an eagle). My task for the day was to make sure they had a good time and felt encouraged doing it.

Therefore encourage one another. What is it that would encourage us dear readers? How about the time we spend hours – maybe even days – working on our yard or in the house cleaning or creating something? Doesn’t it encourage us when someone notices and says something? When we labor over a meal and no one notices – that surely isn’t encouraging. We should think about what others do around us and give them words of encouragement as often as possible.

Therefore encourage one another. What is it that would encourage us dear readers? Have you ever noticed the Orioles’ dugout when a player does something to help the team – like when they make a great defensive play – or hit a homer – or a sacrifice fly – or even simply advance the runner? They greet the teammate with cheers and high fives (or whatever some of them do). They shower them with sunflower seeds and generally make it known that they appreciate them. Dylan Bundy pitched a complete game yesterday and they were all encouraging him.

Therefore encourage one another. What is it that would encourage us dear readers? We had a couple of deep discussions recently in our Tuesday co-ed studies. We were talking about when life is tough – when things don’t go our way – when it seems like we are facing difficult times. In the midst of this discussion we tried to encourage one another with our faith and with our love for one another. We talked about God being there for us – even when things don’t go well. We talked about building our relationship with God during good times.

Here’s today’s passage in partial context. These words were shared during a tough time for the early Christians – many were being killed by their ISIS – their evil – because of their faith. 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 – 13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Therefore encourage one another. What is it that would encourage us dear readers? Where are we struggling today? Where are those around us struggling – at work – at home – in our community? What would encourage us or them? What would encourage others? Let us think about such things and encourage one another. Let us also take encouragement for ourselves in our relationship with Jesus. It is that relationship that will last past the highs and lows of our lives.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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May 25, 2018 - Posted by | Build | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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