What Drives Life-Giving Encouragement? Part 2
Bear one another’s burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ.
A new commandment I give you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
My mother-in-law often said, “My heart hurts with love for my grandchildren.” Now I understand what she meant! Multiply that kind of love by, well, there is no number big enough to define how much God loves each of His children. God’s Son, Jesus, demonstrated that love, when He gave His life on the cross for my sin, for your sin. The Apostle John couldn’t find words to describe God’s love.
What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are.
1 John 3:1a MSG
Imagine John declaring in wonder: WHAT!!! What kind of love is this? God puts His DNA into everyone who is His child, everyone who repents of sin and loves Jesus, His Son!
In Today’s Treasure Jesus instructs us to love one another the way that He loves us. Don’t miss that profound statement: If you belong to Jesus, this passage reminds you that you, too, are beloved by Him. The natural progression in the life of a child of God is, the better I understand my position of forgiveness and righteousness in Christ, the more I want to give to others what I am receiving from Christ. The more I spend time soaking in His Word, pleading through prayer for Him to show me how to reflect His DNA to those I love, the more specific His directions will be on how to become a life-giving encourager.
If we want to be life-giving encouragers, we start with our identity in Christ. As you prepare for this day, think about why you encourage others. Check your motives. Do you have an eternal agenda in keeping with the call of Jesus? How will embracing Jesus’ call to encourage others as a means of reflecting redemption help you “keep on keeping on” when the going gets tough? What practical way will you love your friend today? What is your motive? Will it require sacrifice of your time, your money? When you’re running errands, ask her if she needs milk, eggs or bread, etc. How about her favorite candy or a bouquet of flowers? Ask the Lord to guide you specifically and then watch for His directions.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the the MARKINC website and listen to the teenager depression audio resource titled “Lost Hope” so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
Joy was 10 years old when her mother lost her battle with aggressive breast cancer. Her two little sisters looked to her for mothering. She became her father’s confidante as he tried to navigate grief, single parenthood, and looking for a new wife. Joy’s story gives listeners a glimpse into how the loss of a parent can create an ever widening circle of grief that takes years to process.
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Contact Sharon with comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.