Our theme for this month: “Life on this side of the cross”
Our Bible verse for today: “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:11-12 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Encourage one another”
I came to faith in Christ during the era of the Promise Keepers stadium events. In the late 80s and into the 90s the Promise Keepers movement was sweeping across the USA. Tens of thousands of Christian men were crowding into football stadiums for weekends of great music, inspiring teaching, and fellowship with other Christian men. There were also small Promise Keepers groups in churches and communities; there were Promise Keeper CDs and videos; there were Promise Keeper Bible studies; and lots more.
Two Old Testament verses that were commonly quoted in Promise Keeper events, and which became very helpful to me personally, were Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”, and Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
The experience of Promise Keepers helped me to learn early in my Christian life about the importance of having a good church family and accountability partners. But that’s not just an Old Testament lesson. Instead, this is one of the Biblical principles that has carried over and been retaught, and therefore reaffirmed, in the New Testament. In Hebrews 10:24-25 we read, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
In Romans 1:11-12 we even read about the great Apostle Paul – church planter, preacher, teacher, mentor to many, writer of two-thirds of the New Testament – even he was looking forward to being with the Roman Christians so that he could be encouraged and strengthened by them. It wasn’t just that he wanted to teach, inspire, encourage, and strengthen them, but he needed them to do that for him too.
It really is true that we need each other. Iron does sharpen iron. Two are better than one. A cord of three strands is stronger than a cord of one strand. And we do need to encourage and strengthen each other.
Somebody needs to hear from you today. Somebody you know needs to be strengthened and encouraged. Ask the Lord to bring that person to your mind right now and then reach out to them with a word of encouragement.