Encouragement – By Rev. Dr. Charles Mantey

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Dear Saints,

 ENCOURAGEMENT


But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today.” (Hebrews 3:13a NIV).
Dictionary.com defines encouragement as: to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence. For example, parents or teachers could inspire their children or students with words of encouragement such as “You look great,” “That’s awesome!” “Give me Hi five!” “Thank you!” “Don’t worry, you can make it!” etc. The profundity of these words could be measured in their positive impact in releasing the latent potentials within the children and to help them build their self confidence which will help them later on in life. With this and others in mind, the writer of Hebrews is asking Christians to encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today” (Heb. 3:13a).  This passage places the onus on every Christian to inspire others so they could reach their God-given goals.

It’s a fact that the contours of life bring with them unexpected, and unpleasant circumstances which could dampen and smother our God-given potentials. For instance, one’s bright future could dissipate into oblivion because of all, or any of the following:  fear of failure, lack of self confidence, unresolved bitter experiences, wrongful association with visionless friends, lack of opportunity, poverty and physical or mental disabilities. Those who might find themselves in any of these unfortunate situations could turn their lives around for better or worse; depending on timely intervention they may receive from others. During one’s darkest hour of need, a simple word of encouragement could inadvertently, turn the lights on to change that person’s life for better. On the other hand, any careless, destructive word of discouragement could spell somebody’s doom as those negative words could be a force to push a precious soul into perpetual destruction.

The truth is, if any of us would pause and reflect upon our individual journeys and achievements, we will realize that, we are all recipients of some words of encouragement from our parents, teachers, friends, pastors, family members or co-workers that served as spring boards for us to launch and latch onto our goals today. It is often said that, we all have to give back to our communities part of who we are, and what we have accomplished. What we give back to society might be many and varied in many ways. However, in my opinion, the greatest need in our world today is in the area of giving encouragement to help uplift both youth and adults from their frustrations and predicament.

It looks as if every page of the Bible gives us some words of encouragement; sometimes from God, but sometimes from godly men and women as well. Here are some examples:

THE STORY OF MOSES

Moses was asked by God to go and deliver the children of Israel from their bondage in Egypt. Realizing his own inadequacy, he was reluctant to go. However, God encouraged him with these words: “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And look, he is also coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do. 16 So he shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God. 17 And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs” (Exodus 4:14b-17). Undoubtedly, these words of encouragement from God inspired Moses to accomplish his mission.

THE STORY OF JOSHUA

While still wandering in the wilderness, the death of Moses created a leadership vacuum among the Israelites. God in His infinite wisdom appointed Joshua who was Moses’ assistant to take over the realm of leadership. Feeling his own insignificance to step into a bigger shoe as that of Moses, God had to encourage him with the following words: Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:7-9). Joshua was greatly inspired by these words and was able to face every uphill battle and successfully led the Israelites to the Promised Land.

THE STORY OF NAAMAN

Naaman was the commander of the army of the king of Syria. He won so many battles for his master; but he was sick of leprosy. It so happened that, his wife’s slave girl from Israel told her mistress that her husband could be cured of his sickness by the prophet Elisha living in Israel.
Naaman therefore journeyed to Israel to look for Elisha. On arrival, Elisha sent his servant to tell him to go and wash seven times in the river Jordan. This, he found it hard to do because the Jordan was smaller in comparison to the big rivers in Damascus. The Bible says; And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14 So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
15 And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant” (2 Kings 5:13-15).
Here, we see how the Jewish slave girl, and the servants’ words of encouragement; played a major role in Naaman’s healing.

THE STORY OF JESUS AND PETER

Encouragement is not only found in the Old Testament but the New Testament as well. Jesus was always speaking words of encouragement to his disciples and others he came in contact with. For example, while he was walking on the lake in the night; and the disciples were frightened thinking it’s a ghost, Jesus told them: Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (Matt. 14:27). Peter was so elated that he requested to join Jesus. The Bible says after Jesus had beckoned Peter to join him walk on the water, he (Peter) began to sink after taking some few steps but; Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt” (Matt. 14:31)?

Jesus also encouraged Jairus, ruler of the Synagogue who became despondent upon hearing the death of his daughter. The Bible says, Jesus only turned to him and said: “Don’t be afraid; just believe” (Mark 5:36). Jesus then went along with him to his (Jairus) house, and raised his daughter back to life.

THE STORIES OF BARNABAS AND PAUL

Joseph was nicknamed “Barnabas” which means “Son of Encouragement” all because of how he encouraged the Apostles and others (Acts 4:36). After Saul’s conversion, while the disciples were still afraid of him, it was Barnabas who brought him to the apostles and told them of his (Saul) conversion on the Damascus road (Acts 9:26-27).

The Bible says while Paul and Silas were praying and singing in prison; suddenly, the foundation of the prison began to shake and the prison doors opened. Luke records the reaction of the Jailer as follows; 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved” (Acts16:27-30)? Through these words of encouragement from Paul, the Jailer did not harm himself; but rather accepted Jesus as his Saviour.

Saints, each one of us in our own small ways, through simple words of encouragement to our spouses, children, co-workers, strangers, the elderly, the sick, our church members and pastors, we will be practising what the writer of Hebrews is saying: But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today” (Heb. 3:13a).

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Check our website at www.disciplesrevivalchurch.org to see our 25th Anniversary photos.

My first book titled: African Spirituality: Did Africans Know God Before the Arrival of the Missionaries? Has been released. We had a wonderful launching at our church on Sunday October 25th 2015. You may order your copy through the Publisher @ www.shidaanikei.com. We express our appreciation to all of you for your prayer support.

We are happy to announce that Disciples Revival Church is now on social media. You can like us on Facebook at disciplesrevivalchurchtoronto or Twitter: @disciplesrevive find us on YouTube as well. You can also tune in and listen live sermons on our multicultural radio station by visiting our website at www.disciplesrevivalchurch.org; on Saturdays at 6:00pm Eastern Standard Time. Use any of our contact links to communicate with us whether it is a prayer request or anything you want to share with us. In the meantime, let’s continue to pray for each other.

We will be grateful if you are able to support us financially to continue with our orphanage and church planting programs in Africa; as well as our Radio Ministry and community engagement programs. You may send your donations by mail or through our website at www.disciplesrevivalchurhch.org and click on the donation page.

Rev. Dr.  & Rev. (Mrs.) Charles & Faustina Mantey
Senior Pastors
Disciples Revival Church
30 Gordon Mackay Road
Toronto, Ontario M9N 2V6. Canada
416-614-7771
www.disciplesrevivalchurch.org

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