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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Encouragement - Part 1"

Date published: 02/29/2016
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)  

   Most people receiving this devotion today attended church in the last 24 hours. Church is the most frequented gathering of Christians. As you encountered Christians at church, did you do so to impart a spiritual gift, strengthen them in their faith, so each was mutually encouraged? This same question would apply to sharing a meal with a follower of Christ or any meeting of Christians. Friendship, fellowship, and rousing discussions are good between believers, but do we also try to impart a blessing so each is encouraged and strengthened in the faith? Are you excited about getting with a friend to hear how God is working in his/her life or to just catch up and discuss life issues? Both are good, but believers should have a bond that hungers for encouragement for God’s work and presence. This week and next I will share eight opportunities for believers to spur one another to a greater working of God. 

  1. Romans 15:29 shows that each encounter with another is an opportunity to bring a blessing from Christ“I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ.” (NIV)  God desires every follower of Christ to regularly experience Him. God did not just touch your life for yourself, but also for the fellowship of believers. God wants your time with fellow believers to be a time for Christ in you to overflow to others. This will vary between believers. Approach your encounters with others to be a time where Christ in you blesses the other.
  2. Hebrews 3:13 challenges you to encourage fellow believers“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.” (NIV) Walking with Christ requires the constant encouragement of fellow believers. Challenges, temptations, sinful opportunities, and discouragement are all prime possibilities for satan and the world to turn your heart away from God. God designed your walk with Christ to find encouragement not only from the Holy Spirit, but also from the body of Christ. God uses the body of Christ to help you experience and be equipped with a greater measure of Christ.
  3. Hebrews 10:24 shows how believers can play an important role in pointing you to righteousness“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (NIV) We live in a world that operates and rewards those that do not live for God. God uses fellowship and accountability to not only help point you to righteousness, but also help prepare you for righteous living.

Hebrews 10:25 “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (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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