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Vol.  10  No. 4 April 2008  Page 3
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How Can We Encourage Each Other?

Rodney Nulph

By Rodney Nulph

    The Hebrews writer commanded, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:23-25 emphasis added). Just as the early Christians were told and expected to encourage each other, we too must learn to encourage and exhort each other as well. The words to a familiar song by Lizzie DeArmond tell how important encouragement is: “O the things we may do, you and I, you and I, O the love we can give if we try, Just a word or a song as we’re passing along, they will count in the great by and by” (emphasis added). Encouragement is essential to church growth; and so we ask how can we encourage each other as the Hebrews writer commanded?

    In the first place, we can encourage each other by our good example. A good example is an encouragement to others, while a bad example is a discouragement! We see in Acts 4 that many were selling what they had to distribute to needy saints and notice what is said of Barnabas, “And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet” (Acts 4:36-37). The “Son of encouragement” did not tell of a good work and encourage others to do it alone, but by example he went and showed where his heart was. Christians, we must make certain that we are in the battle fighting and not on the sidelines shouting orders! We encourage others by our good example.

    In the second place, we can encourage each other by our graceful words. Words can either build or destroy. Words can encourage a person to continue or cause a person to stop. Graceful words are so needed in the Lord’s church today! Paul and Barnabas used graceful words to encourage other disciples in the faith (Acts 14:22). The story is told of a group of frogs that were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the unfortunate frogs they would never get out. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and simply gave up. He fell down and died. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and suffering and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs asked him, “Why did you continue jumping? Didn’t you hear us?” The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time! Truly, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21). We encourage others by our graceful words.

    Let’s take time each day to encourage others as they walk with the Savior. How can we carry out the command to encourage? We encourage others by living a good example and by using graceful words. “But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13)! [In my humble opinion, brother Rodney Nulph is one of the finest young writers and preachers I know today. I am always encouraged when around him or the blessed recipient of something flowing from his pen. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]

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