Some Encouraging Thoughts for You!
A Sermon By: Pastor Henry T. Anderson
Windsor Avenue Bible Church, Oceanside, NY
13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Intro: Last week I preached on The Bible Subject of Encouragement, and I had a lot of extra Bible Study notes and... I want to Encourage You-All again, in fact I need some Encouragement too!
Encourage means: To inspire with courage, spirit, or hope. To spur on, to give help. The action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope. The King James Bible uses the words Comfort and Exhort instead of Encourage.
24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Pleasant words from one to another are Encouragement,
Encouragement gives us courage spirit, and hope. Encouragement from the Bible gives us the will to carry on. And I’d like to Cheer you on, to Encourage. To spur you on, to give help.
Now just by review, last time we looked at three Encouraging thoughts about Serving The Lord. Remember, #1:
1. Your hard work is worth it.
1 Corinthians 15:58
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.
Again, let me remind you Church, your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
When it comes to The Lord’s work:
1. Find Your Calling.
2. Joyfully Embrace Hard Tasks.
3. Persist, Persist, Persist.
4. Kill Half-Heartedness.
5. Work Urgently.
6. Be Seasonally-Minded.
7. Focus on The Goal.
8. Don’t Copy Me.
9. Encourage Each Other!
10. Labor Toward the Account You Will Give to God.
When the work is finished, you’ll get to meet The Lord.
2. Going the extra mile can make all the difference.
3. Remember, It’s better to give than receive.
And what I’d like to do, is continue on that thought and Preach and focus on Encouragement between Us and each other!
Now a fair question is: WHAT REALLY IS ENCOURAGEMENT? Biblical encouragement isn’t focused on complementing someone’s haircut or telling them how good their homemade salsa tastes. That kind of encouragement is important, but Encouragement of the Bible is Encouragement that is shared with the hopes that it will lift someone’s heart toward the Lord. Paul sent a friend of his over to the Church in Colossae to Encourage them:
Colossians 4:7-8 says:
7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:
8 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts;
Throughout The New Testament Encouragement was a regular part of the early Church’s life together.
They Encouraged each other by studying The Bible, this gave them hope!
4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort (Encouragement) of the scriptures might have hope.
That’s why I believe that Sunday School and Prayer Times. They are important, why? We Encourage each to Study God’s Word!
Proverbs 27:17 says:
17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Q: What are the benefits of Sunday school? I’m glad you asked!
Sunday school offers children and adults a chance to learn more about the Bible and to discuss faith-based topics in an age-appropriate setting.
You can ask questions and we look to God’s Word for the answer.
Books of The Bible are studied here at WABC verse by verse, the lessons are practical and relevant and are at the Seminary level,
We study the Doctrines and Fundamentals of the Faith,
Sunday School is discipleship! Every Pastor-Shepherd/Teacher wants and loves to see each Sunday School student learn The Bible and have a spiritual life change.
Sunday School provides a structure for teaching God’s Word. Preaching isn’t enough. A systematic teaching of the Scriptures – not just preaching needs to occur.
Acts 5:42 says, very important:
42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
You say what’s the difference between Teaching and Preaching?
Preaching is shoutin’ “Thus saith The LORD!”
And Teaching is explaining what “Thus saith The LORD!” means…
I want to Encourage you all and if you want to Encourage me then come to Sunday School! Yea Sunday School, wohooo!!
Nothing like starting The Lord’s Day, with the first cup of coffee of the day @ The WABC Coffee House, being with God’s Children and studying His Word in Sunday School!
The Early N.T. Church, They Encouraged each other to continue in the faith:
22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting (Encourage) them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
They Encouraged each other in unity:
2 That their hearts might be comforted (Encouraged), being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
They Encouraged each other in joy:
31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.
Consolation also means Encouragement.
They Encouraged each other of the certainty of The Lord’s return:
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
We’re to Comfort, we’re to Encourage each other that The Lord’s Coming back!
Oh, Pastor Hank, my knees are killing me, don’t worry about it, The Lord’s Coming back, He’ll give two new ones!
Oh, Pastor Hank, my back is killing me, don’t worry about it, The Lord’s Coming back, He’ll give ya a new one!
Oh, Pastor Hank, The Devil, his demons, The Gov’t, my crazy neighbor, my noisy neighbors, Islam, Taxes, my Boss, Slow Internet, Trump, Obama, Hillary, Politics, Global Warming, Too many commercials on TV, Traffic, The In-Laws, my so called Friends, Money, The Weather, Getting stuck in The Drive Through, The toilet seat being left up, The toilet seat being left down, Your Facebook and Twitter status, Waking up in the morning, Mondays, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Madonna, Miley Cyrus, People who smell, People trying to sell you stuff, People who talk loudly on their Cell phones, people who talk too much, Driving slow in the fast lane, people stalking you, people looking over your shoulder, Brownnosers, Reality TV, Smokers, Paper cuts, Bad Hair Days, Breaking a nail, Running out of Hot water, Running out of toilet paper, Pimples, Sunburn, Bad Weather on your vacation, Burning your Toast, Bad Coffee, Don’t worry Sook, The Lord’s Coming Back!
Oh, Pastor Hank… Oh, Pastor Hank… Oh, woe is me…
Don’t worry about it, The Lord’s Coming back, He’s not gonna give you any of those bad things!
But when The Lord Jesus comes back… He’s coming for: You!
He’s gonna give you a new body, He’s got a mansion with your name on it, the roads are paved with gold, He’s given you life, life, Eternal Life!
When The Lord Jesus comes back… We’re:
Getting the Promise and Claiming the Prize and Bowing at His Feet one Happy Day, when we come through that Eastern Gate,
And we’re gonna see Jesus!
Job said, I’m gonna see Him for myself and not another, I’ll tell you something Church, The Devil doesn’t have enough power to keep us out of Heaven, he doesn’t have enough force to keep us out of the Victory Circle, he can’t take away the Prize!
Until The Lord comes back, we need to Encourage each other!!
Encouragement spurs us on, to give help. Encouragement is giving someone support, confidence, or hope to each other. We need to cheer each other on!
And I want to Encourage You All this Morning!
WHY DO WE NEED ENCOURAGEMENT?
God commanded that his people encourage each other because he knows we need it. In the Gospel of John, Jesus warned
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer (That’s Encouragement); I have overcome the world.
We live in a broken world. Sin steals joy, our bodies break down, our plans falter, our dreams die, our resolves weaken, our perspective dims. We are promised suffering (1 Peter 4:12), persecution (John 15:20; 2 Timothy 3:12), and trials of various kinds (James 1:2-3).
When Encouragement is absent from the life of God’s people, God’s people will feel unloved, unimportant, useless, and forgotten. God knows his people are in need of Encouraging grace-filled reminders, so he calls us to encourage each other every day until his Son returns (Wherefore comfort one another with these words).
Why Encourage each other? Let’s turn to Ecclesiastes 4
9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
4. Two are better than one. Who wants to be alone? Who wants to be sad by themselves?
This is an old proverb, similar to the modern cliché that, "two heads are better than one." Let’s break it down:
Two are better than one… There is something "better" than being alone.
18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
Two are better than one… because they have a good reward for their labour…The good return or reward is explained in the following verses. In addition, what is the use of having wealth or nice things, if you can’t share it with anyone? The reward he is speaking of here is a sharing. They can share their successes. In fact, they can even console each other in their failures. Two are better than one, if they are of one accord.
10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow… When two work and live together they can help each other in difficult times.
but woe to him that is alone… Why? Because Satan is readiest to attack when none is by to help or Encourage.
11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
The body puts off a certain amount of heat, and two in a bed together can stay warmer than just one. The robe many of the Israelites wore served as a blanket to sleep under, as well. Two blankets are warmer than one. Nights in Israel are cold, especially in winter; and a lone traveler will sleep close to his donkey for warmth. Here may be one of the secrets why Christ sent out his apostles in pairs. Nothing is any more pitiful than a completely isolated, cold, lonley human being.
12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
and a threefold cord is not quickly broken…The cord of three strands was one of the strongest made. Three is even better! Additional Companionship also brings with it protection and security.
1. If one genuine friend is of greater value than riches, how much more two genuine friends?
2. To a strong marriage, children born of that relationship only add increased strength to the family
3. Remember, In any relationship, God should be the third partner:
14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
These verses show us the great value of human relationships, that two are better than one. Living and working together is a great advantage to living and working alone, and adds these four things to life:
· Productivity (they have a good reward for their labour)
· Help in need (For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow)
· Comfort in life (they will keep warm)
· Safety and security (two shall withstand)
TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE WHEN YOU ARE IN A FIGHT.
In Luke 10:25-32, Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan. The backdrop to this story is about a man who fell among thieves while traveling alone between Jerusalem and Jericho, when robbers attacked him, robbed him, beat him up, and left him for dead.
There are some enemies you cannot defeat on your own.
• There are some attitudes you cannot change on your own.
• There are some habits you cannot break on your own.
• There are some problems you cannot solve on your own.
• There are some needs you cannot meet on your own.
In The Lord’s work, two are better than one!
Jesus sent out His Disciples in two by twos,
Who could your partner be?
1. Husband and Wife (Aquila and Priscilla)
2. Friends (Paul and Silas) of the same gender
3. Brothers or Sisters (Andrew and Peter)
4. Father and Son, Zacharias and _________________?
Zacharias undoubtedly taught his son much about the coming Messiah. John was well prepared to be the forerunner for Jesus Christ.
Mother and Daughter, Jochebed the Mother of _____________? Miriam, who’s brothers were:__________________ Moses and Aaron!
Why are 2 better than 1?
1. More will get done.
2. They can pick each other up.
3. They give each other energy and comfort.
4. The devil may discourage 1, but not 2.
5. If you get them connected to the church, the devil can’t stop them.
Now remember, one of the definitions of Encourage is to help.
Now just a couple of Helpful, Encouraging Reminders:
5. No matter how hard you try, somethings are still going to go wrong.
Remember Peter walking on water, what happened to him? He sank!
And you what we’re gonna do sometimes? We going down, we gonna sink…
What happen to Paul and Barnabas They could not reach an agreement about John Mark, and so they split up. You may lose a Brother or a Sister in The Lord sometimes…
What happened with Paul and Peter? Peter messed up and Paul got in his face!
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
Sometimes, we sink, sometimes we split, sometimes someone gets in our face because we made a bo-boo…
Don’t worry about it, The Lord’s Coming back, Amen!
My Bible also says in 1 Peter 4:8
8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
Love, Forgiveness, Mercy, Understanding, Respect, Honor, Joy, Gentleness are some Encouraging Fruit to show someone…
7. Encouragement is a Free Gift we can give someone, it doesn’t cost a penny to Encourage someone.
8. We Encourage because Jesus is the Reason. John 3:16
9. We Encourage and Jesus has got your Back.
Matthew 28:20: “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
10. We Encourage and God Remembers what you’ve done.
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant… enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
I’d like to close with this, The question you might ask is:
What are some ways that I can Encourage?
Here’s a few with minimal comment:
1. Pray for God to make you an encourager.
2. Make encouragement a daily discipline. For some of us encouragement comes naturally, for others, not so much.
3. Learn The Five Love Languages. The five love languages are: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.
4. If an encouraging thought comes to mind, share it!
5. When you introduce someone, add a few words of praise for the person's abilities, accomplishments, about how they've helped you or about the nature of your relationship. It's encouraging to be praised in front of others.
6. Send a Card or a Gift like Flowers. A surprise delivery makes any occasion or accomplishment feel more momentous, and is a real sign that you are thinking of someone even when they're not around.
7. When someone is discouraged or hurting, offer specific, practical help. If you ask, "How can I help?" the person might be at a loss to answer, because they’re shocked that someone might actually help them!
8. Remind fellow Christians of the specific promises of God and characteristics of God.
1 Peter 5:7
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
There’s thousands of promises and thousands of Bible verses to Encourage with!
9. Tell someone that you're praying for them. Paul Prayed in:
13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
10. Make celebration a more regular part of your relationships. Celebrate others' victories, large and small with a note, coffee together, a special meal, a congratulatory phone call, or just a high-five!
11. Realize the power of presence. Just being there can be encouraging! When you're with others, you're telling them that they're important.
12. Use encouragement as an outreach. If anyone should be known for being an encourager, it should be the Christian. The lost are hurting!
13. When you see someone making positive changes in their lives, encourage them. "You seem to have a really great attitude about…"
14. Tell people how they've encouraged you!
15. Get started. Who can you encourage right now?
13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.