Encourage One Another

The Bible says we are to encourage one another. We usually think of encouragement as some word or action that makes a person feel better about himself. Encouragement makes you feel good. But what does the word "encourage" actually mean? Do the effects of encouragement last only a little while, or are the effects permanent?

Webster's Dictionary defines encourage "to inspire hope or to embolden." Wow! That sounds like more than just feeling good to me! And it sounds like it lasts longer than just a little while.

"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2) "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." (Galatians 6:10)

Jesus did not just ask us to love one another with a sacrificial love, He commanded it. "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-45) Showing love for one another attracts the unsaved. (Acts 2:41-47)

By showing love and concern for fellow Christians, we help our brothers and sisters in Christ grow and mature. We can inspire hope in them and embolden them to share the Good News about Jesus. At the same time, the world will see our love and concern toward one another. The world will be attracted by that love.

When the unsaved see that Christ's love really does make a difference in a person's life, Christians are given the opportunity to witness to the unsaved about Jesus. Both Christians and the unsaved need the love and the forgiveness that only Christ can offer. Both need encouragement.

Come to Sunday School to learn more about Jesus and the many ways that we can encourage one another by following His example. When our encouragement contributes to the saving of lost souls, that encouragement certainly does have lasting effects!

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