LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Monday, December 24, 2007

Speak Up

And say to Archippus, "See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord."
(Colossians 4:17 – ESV)

Paul knew the trials, the ups and downs of being in ministry, and he consistently kept an eye out to exhort and encourage his ministry disciples and partners. You see this when you study 1 Timothy 1:3-7, 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5, Ephesians 6:18, and in many other places. The idea of exhorting and encouraging one another in our walks and ministries fills the New Testament.

So who’s to say the words? The letter to the Colossians was to the whole church at Colossae, all the members, and all the members were to speak to Archippus, maybe not each one individually, but the sense is that anyone has the right. The church speaks to the leaders for encouragement as well as the leaders speak to the church. This is not about being presumptuous in telling others what they “should” be doing, but to encourage each other as to those things we all need to be doing. To encourage those already doing something specific to be able to fulfill it, and for those looking to do something particular to make sure they are looking to the Lord and encouraging them with your pledged support.

So we are to encourage not just in general but also specifically, to individuals. We all have a ministry of encouragement, and it is important, and it is commanded. The writer of this letter, the one and only Apostle Paul, even he needed encouragement. At the beginning of his ministry he was aided by a man named Barnabas, whose name means son of encouragement (Acts 4:36). He helped Paul when no one else would, and the Bible says he was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost and faith (Acts 11:24), but he doesn’t get mentioned as much as some others we speak of. I’m sure that isn’t bothering Him in heaven right now.

Some scholars say he wrote Hebrews – think of that, one of the greatest books in the Bible, and perhaps the greatest one setting forth the supremacy of Christ. Barnabas may have written that and wasn’t even recognized for it. Whoever did write Hebrews is not recognized but what they did was and is still effective for God. You may not be like Paul or you may not be like Barnabas, you may not be the one who is recognized but you still have a ministry, and we all have an obligation to say to others to see to it, to be an encouragement to them.

Everyone has times when they need some encouragement, and sometimes we don’t know where it will come from. God has a way of sending someone around to say something that lifts us up when they don’t even know how or why it means so much to us, or even that their words meant anything special to us at all. Glory to God, it is a beautiful thing when that happens.

We should definitely develop an attitude of encouragement. However, having said that, let’s not be too hasty to try and be everyone’s encourager if that is not what we are called to do. Yes you will be called to be an encourager to someone and sometimes, but not everyone is always to speak to everyone about their issues. Hearing empty worn out words from someone we know doesn’t really understand or isn’t actually concerned is like putting salt on a wound. People like that just want to show off their supposed compassion and spirituality. See to it that this isn’t you.

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4 Comments:

Blogger mark pierson said...

"We should definitely develop an attitude of encouragement"

Amen!

December 25, 2007 12:46 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

I agree. It is very important to encourage and to be encourgaged in all the many functions that the body of Christ is called to participate.

December 25, 2007 9:24 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

At a time when Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron; who faced an angry group of atheists and came out of their feeling much hated and I am sure deep inside a bit discouraged some, many angry Christians joined in on critisizing them for not going in there more prepard and with the use of Creation research scientists, but the fact is they needed encouragement, whether we felt they did the best job they could or not, because they were standing in the gap speaking on behalf of our precious Lord in whom they love greatly...and that is something glorious that no atheist or unbeliever can understand...that the rocks cry out to praise Him.

I love you all's love for my Jesus and your Jesus. It is a blessing to me. Thanks also for standing by the foolishness of the message preached in Jesus through the power of the cross.

December 26, 2007 1:25 PM

 
Blogger Scribe said...

bhedr,

Good word!We need to support and encourage our brethern in the Lord, we mustn't defer to "friendly fire" as was the case with Kirk and Ray.

December 26, 2007 2:48 PM

 

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