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Encouraged

Encouraged

13 February 2009

Scripture:

1 When the uproar was over, Paul sent for the believers and encouraged them. Then he said good-bye and left for Macedonia. 2 While there, he encouraged the believers in all the towns he passed through. Then he traveled down to Greece… (Acts 20:1-2 NLT)

Observation:

Paul had spent two years evangelizing and discipling Christ-followers in Ephesus. He had developed deep and rich relationships with the believers in that church and was well-known throughout the city for his boldness for Jesus Christ. But now he was leaving to travel through Macedonia, on to Greece, then through Syria and on to Jerusalem, with Rome as his chosen final destination.

While he was with the Ephesians, he encouraged them. When he prepared to leave, he encouraged them. When he visited the other churches on his journey, he encouraged them.

Application:

People get discouraged. They get discouraged by the financial challenges they face. They get discouraged by difficult relationships. They get discouraged by things others do that are beyond their control. They get discouraged by criticism and lack of appreciation. They get discouraged by their own weaknesses and failures. I get discouraged.

I want to be an encourager. I want to encourage my wife and kids. I want to encourage the people I know who are facing financial reversal, uncertain futures, health issues, transition, weariness, doubts, and fears. I want to encourage pastors and their congregations. I want to encourage the people we know and love around the world.

Prayer:

Father, may I please be a source and channel of wisdom and encouragement to others. Any others. Many others. Make me an instrument of your peace. Amen.

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