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  • David

    November 19, 2021 at 6:32 am

    Show me the Hoop-om-on-ay – Romans 15:4-6

    A couple of things encouraged me from this morning’s reading. First, I am relieved to know that using biblehub.com is not cheating. It is one of my favorite devotional tools. Another that I use a lot is gotquestions.org. These tools help me locate scripture verses and provide a biblical commentary on important principles and concepts. They help me reflect (listen to the Holy Spirit) and formulate a more thoughtful response.

    The second thing that I focused on was JD’s definition of biblical encouragement. It is definitely too wordy, even for me and, as you know, I tend to be wordy myself. However, I find his definition very comprehensive and helpful for understanding the difference between worldly encouragement and biblical encouragement. The first thing that strikes me is when we encourage one another we are acting as an agent of Christ and we are participating in the work of the Holy Spirit. That gives the proverbial pat on the back or kind word a much deeper meaning and a weightier responsibility.

    The second thing about his definition that got my attention is “to minister Grace to human beings at the level of the their inner person….” We are called to be ministers and dispensers of God’s mercy, Grace, and hope. Think about that the next time you attempt to encourage someone. Again, this takes saying “everything is going to be alright” to a much deeper level. My struggle is how to be a better encourager.

    I think we have to be prepared. We are admonished in 1 Peter 3:15 to, “sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect…” I also think biblical encouragement is allowing the encouragement we have in Jesus to overflow out of us to others. That means that we first have to be encouraged in order to be an encourager. If we allow ourselves to be discouraged by our circumstances or things we can’t control, we can’t act as agents of Christ. That is why it was hard for me to answer JD’s question this morning. How is this for a long wordy reflection?