Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Be An Encourager!

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.

Life ChangeBe an encourager. What is it that would encourage us today dear readers? When we’re trying to lose weight or put it on – doesn’t it encourage us when people notice and say something nice to us? When we are trying to change our shape – exercising more or watching what we eat – it is nice when people notice. When you’re trying to change something about yourself – isn’t it nice to hear someone say something nice about that change? Let’s try to notice others and not be so narcissistic – focused on self so much.

Be an encourager. What is it that would encourage us today dear readers? Yesterday I played some golf with a friend. It was my first time in about 10 years trying to walk all 18 holes. It is early in the season. I was encouraged by my score – but I was also encouraged by my friend. He often said good things (when I hit good shots) and didn’t rag on my when I hit some not so good shots. I tried to return the favor – encouraging him as he played his game. We were not competing – we were enjoying each others company and the great outdoors. It wasn’t about me playing well – it was about us having a good time and enjoying the day. I decided before we went out – my focus yesterday was going to be on enjoying the day and encouraging my friend. Hit some really nice drives and approach shots. He hit a few irons like I have never seen him hit before – and I made sure he knew I thought they were outstanding. My task for the day was to make sure he had a good time and felt encouraged playing.

Be an encourager. What is it that would encourage us today 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.

Be an encourager. What is it that would encourage us today 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. The season starts Thursday – take a look – even after losing 115 games last year and losing a lot of free agent players – they will be all about encouraging each other.

Be an encourager. What is it that would encourage us today dear readers? We had a couple of deep discussions recently in our Tuesday Lenten studies. We’ve been talking about the book by Lee Strobel titled The Case for Easter. The discussion has often been deep – as we discussed the crucifixion and the death of Christ (did He really die). We had a lot of different ideas and thoughts on the subject – yet we always tried to remain encouraging and uplifting as we talked together. It’s about learning – but it is also about building up relationships and friendships.

Be an encourager. What is it that would encourage us today dear readers? 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.

Be an encourager. What is it that would encourage us today 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.

March 26, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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