The verse for 2016 was launched at the morning services onJanuary 10th (Rae’s sermon- click here)
1 Thessalonians 5:11: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
This is an exciting season to be part of LBC, this local church, as God is on the move. I completely believe that God has brought us together for such a time as this to serve God in these days. I also be-lieve God has greater things in store as we move on in faith and obedience.
Fred Catherwood once said: “The church should be a community of encouragement.” As we reflect on our calling as believers, and as the local church, we should always seek to encourage one another and build each other up.
Tony Campolo said: “Building up one another is a God-given responsibility. The Scripture admonish-es us to enter into a ministry of ‘edification’ or uplifting. That means when people are down, we are supposed to pick them up; when they feel like nothing, we are supposed to make them feel like some-thing special; when they feel worthless, we are supposed to make them feel infinitely precious.”
There is a man in the life of the early church who is not remembered as an awesome preacher or a visionary leader but rather by one thing: Wherever he goes he encourages people.:
His name is Joseph the Levite. He was given the nickname Barnabas. In Acts 4:36 we are told his name means “Son of encouragement.” What a great nickname! He sought to encourage others. He was generous of Spirit and full of goodness. He believed in people and he cheered them on. Barna-bas had a very important ministry and he is mentioned at least twenty five times in the book of Acts and another five times in the Epistles. As a person he was generous with his giving (Acts 4:37); he encouraged Paul is his early service for the Lord (Acts 9:23-27); he mentored people; he gave them a second chance (Acts 15:36-41). He was a blessing and an encouragement to the Church.
We are told in Hebrews 3:13 “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today.” The Church should be a community of encouragement: people who journey together in a team, encourag-ing one another, as we partner in the Gospel.
I thank God that this is something that this church is doing. But let’s strive to do it better. Let’s con-sider how we as family can we encourage and build each other up so that we grow in grace and in ef-fectiveness in our ministry and mission. All to the glory of God!