Friday, January 11, 2008

Encourage One Another

Encourage One Another
I personally like the word encourage because I have had (and still have) people that encourage me at every step of the way. I always likened it to someone saying “you can do it, you can be it!” But recently, I have been learning more to the word “encourage. One I learnt is that sharing of testimonies is one good way to encourage others.

Let me share with you one experience. It was one of those Sunday mornings when I was in church, very spiritual, moved by the music and words, confessing all my sins, and making fresh promises to God (does that happen to you?) I had got a prompting to sow a seed in church. It was not one of those days when sowing was mentioned in the message so I was not being persuaded by the preacher. I agreed in my heart that once I get home I will get the seed and sow in church the next Sunday. Beloved, as soon as I reached the exit gate of the church, it was as though my spirit had been reset. I said “what seed was I thinking about in that place? I must have been very foolish to think of such a thing!”

All through the week the prompting came up (as reminder). I struggled with whether or not to go ahead with what I had promised. After a while I brushed the thoughts aside with loud music of worship and praise, avoided any bible passage that will talk of “sow”, and thought out a good logic that there was no real reason for that seed. After all, the pastor never mentioned anything in church. When “The Reminder” [John 14:26] became too much, I said I will do it next year. I was reasoning with the Holy Spirit that since it is a free donation, it should be done at my own time. I thought that was the end of the case.

That evening, a friend of mine visited and decided to stay over. I was very glad because it will distract me from listening to the voice in my heart (she is a very good companion, never a dull moment with her). You cannot guess what her topic of discussion was that evening – sowing of seeds. She narrated a story of how she sowed seeds when she was looking for a change in job, and when she finally got the new job, she knew it was none other than God that gave it to her. She was grateful for the seed sown. She also shared with me other instances of people close to her that sowed seeds of all sorts of things and reaped a hundred times more. Then she concluded “there is nothing or no one that can convince me against sowing seeds. I don’t even give room to discuss it. When I get a prompting in my spirit to sow, I sow without delay and with confidence and expectation for I know I will reap a thousand fold.” She was gone the next morning and of course, there was no further argument between me and “The Reminder”. That was one encouragement towards doing something good that I can never forget. Her testimony of the benefits of sowing seeds filled me with joy and gave me courage to overcome any reasoning that would make me not sow the seed. Today I am benefiting from the very decision to respond to that prompting at the time I did.

So now when I think of the word “encourage”, the meaning goes beyond “you can do it and you can be it”. I think of words and acts that refresh the spirit. I think of answers to inner struggles coming from you and me. I think of the light and love of God shone on others from the roads we have passed through. I think of testimonies.

Dear Child of God let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us … encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near [Hebrews 10:24-25]. The Lord has surely been good to you. Share your testimonies of God’s goodness and faithfulness. You are not being boastful by that. You never know who will be blessed, refreshed, uplifted, nay encouraged by your testimony.

May the peace of God be with you.

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