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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Encouragement - Part 2

Date published: 03/07/2016
Romans 1:11-12 “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.” (NIV) 

   This verse changes the paradigm of friendships and interactions with Christians. Seeing fellow Christians as opportunities to help them grow, be refreshed, effective, and better used by God takes boldness and perseverance. Here are the three reasons given last week, along with the final five this week, for allowing God to use the family of God for spurring your faith:

  1. You receive a blessing by witnessing what Christ is doing in others - Romans 15:29
  2. You are encouraged by fellow believers - Hebrews 3:13
  3. You are pointed to righteousness by fellow believers - Hebrews 10:24
  4. Acts 11:23-24 23 shows how the fellowship of believers can point you to the faithfulness of God“When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.”(NIV) Though God’s faithfulness can easily be buried by your personal life, it can also be more easily seen in the fellowship of believers. Allow your fellowship with believers to illuminate God’s faithfulness for your mutual encouragement.
  5. 1 Thessalonians 2:11 teaches the importance of fellow believers being used by God for providing direction and discipline“For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children.” (NIV) Being vulnerable and open to Godly input allows God to provide correction through fellow believers. Make it easy for other believers to speak truth into your life, but insist it be from the Word of God.
  6. 1 Thessalonians 4:18 shows how Godly input breeds hope“Therefore encourage each other with these words.” (NIV) Hope and truth can be clouded by needs. Allowing the fellowship of believers to speak God’s Word in each others’ lives can breathe hope into everyone’s spirit. 
  7. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 teaches the importance of discipleship“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”(NIV) God’s Word is powerful, but often immaturity in Christ, difficulties, and needs require discipleship with another. One Christian methodically discipling another can help him/her build a solid foundation.
  8.  2 Timothy 4:2 encourages believers to teach the Word of God for the benefit of others“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.” (NIV) Fellow believers need solid teaching to “tee them up” for being used by God. Immature Christians continually flounder through lack of teaching , while mature Christians receive and apply the Word. 

   The eight attributes of fellowship allow God’s greatest work. They equip, guide, and keep Christians on track to not only experience more of Christ, but also to be ambassadors that point others to Him. 

Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three come together in My Name, there am I with them." (NIV) 

Do you know someone who needs this message on fellowship? If so, sign them up to receive this weekly devotion or forward this devotion to them as a blessing for their growth in Christ. 

Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “Discipleship” and “Discipleship: One-on-One.” 

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