ENCOURAGE AND BUILD ONE ANOTHER UP
SATURDAY 07 AUGUST 2021
There is wisdom in encouraging and building up others in Christ. They are good and beneficial in diverse human endeavours. Encouraging words bring light in the midst of darkness and hopelessness; building others up reflects and reveals the glory of God in them and also maximizes their potential in Christ.
Reference: 1 Thessalonians 5:11 New International Version (NIV) "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
To gain proper insight into this topic or simply put, to understand the reason we must encourage one another and build each other up, let's go back to the first two verses prior to our referenced Scripture:
Verses 9-11: "For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
This Scripture places special importance on our salvation and being raised together with Christ in the heavenly realms. Paul the apostle noted that we were not appointed to suffer wrath. We are saved because Christ died for us, and for this reason, every born again Christian, both the dead and those alive, live together with Christ "now" in the heavenly realms. The heavenly realm is invisible, like the wind and we were born into the realm by becoming born again.
As a result of the new birth, we have become the citizens of God's kingdom, alive in the heavenly dimension where our Lord Jesus Christ is seated in the place of honour at God's right hand and reigns as a King (see Colossians 3:1 NLT). Although we are on earth, wearing the physical bodies, the kingdom of heaven is evident in our hearts and so we are completely linked to the spiritual realm by the virtue of salvation. So we live together with Christ in the "now" of our lives, though this realm cannot be seen with human eyes, but its more real than the physical realm.
Paul, having acknowledged the realm we function in, says, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..." The apostle is wise in the sense that he knows that as long as we live on earth as Christians, many of us need to be encouraged and built up by one another. Physically, we live in the realm of trouble, trials and tribulation. When Jesus was here, he continually encouraged His disciples and at one point, He said to them, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world" (John 16:33 NLT).
You can observe that while on earth, Jesus didn't only build His disciples up, He also encouraged them to take heart and cheer up, reminding them of the realm they could experience peace - In Him. If He had to do this as the Son of God, how much more Christians in the world today. An understanding of the mystery of encouragement and building others up enforces the reign of Christ in our lives and changes our whole perspective on living the Christian life on earth. When we sincerely encourage one another and build each other up with the Word of God's grace, we can be firmly strengthened to live victoriously and successfully in our world.
As a true Christian, don't live for yourself and conclude that all is fine with your fellow Christians. In other words, refuse to function from the standpoint of self-interest. A word of encouragement can brighten someone's day, put a lasting smile on their face, and even drive them to pursue their dreams and purpose with all eagerness. Look at the world around you, and you'll always find a way to be an encouragement to others. Philippians 2:4 (NLT) reads, "Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too."
Also in Paul's farewell to the Ephesian Christians, he wrote, "Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified" (Acts 20:32 NLT). Beloved, be up and doing with both instructions and watch yourself rise to greater degree of God's glory from time to time. Shalom!
Scripture Reading - Psalm 94:19; Isaiah 40:29; Ephesians 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12; Hebrews 10:24-25.
Guided Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me the gift of your Word which provides me with encouraging words and serves as a source of inspiration for godly living. By meditating on your Word, I agree with you and your wisdom propels me to walk in divine guidance and prevail in life. As I share a word of encouragement with someone today, they receive comfort and strength to cope with life's challenges and win. Day by day, I'm built strong by your Word and I live to establish others firmly in the faith as I share it with them, in Jesus' Name, Amen!