2001-08-16 - Charge!
1 Thess 5:11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing. (NAS)
The heat settled into the stadium like a blanket covering the crowd. The home team was behind by four runs. The first base hit in several innings brought a cheer from the fans. But the 100 degree temperature quickly smothered the enthusiasm that the crack of the bat had earned. As the next batter approached home plate, a familiar trumpet call sounded throughout the arena. "Charge!" the crowed replied. The trumpet call encouraged the fans again. "Charge!" even louder from the crowd. Those two well-timed fanfares had encouraged the crowd to become part of the game again.
It can be a simple thing - a hug, a pat on the shoulder, a smile or a supportive, assuring comment spoken to someone who is struggling with an issue big or small. A decision about a school project, a job offer or other personal matters can weigh heavily on you, a friend or family member. An extra responsibility or major project at work can mean extra hours and time away from familiar faces. The desire to do your best job can become at odds with the need to be home to help with kids, homework and life in general. All of these might seem to be run of the mill, day to day struggles with more secular and spiritual meaning.
Every day is a struggle for all of us, some far more than others. Even the very wealthy and those with no material needs have emotional and spiritual needs. In some ways their spiritual needs are deeper because there are so many material things in the way for them. Even for the spiritually strong there are things that are weak links in the armor, old hurts and failures that can leave them nearly defenseless in their own strength.
In short, there is no one who does not need or should not accept a word of encouragement. It is a gift that is made purely of caring and respect and given from the heart. It is given at the point of our need in a spirit of grace - the grace that we have all been shown by Jesus Christ. The gift asks for nothing in return but to be accepted and taken to the heart and mind as an affirmation of value as a person for Whom Christ died.
Rom 12:10-18 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. (NAS)
We wait for another trumpet call too. Encourage one another with these words.
Lord Jesus - Help us to encourage each other as all we learn to rely on You. Amen.
Grace & Peace,