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1another :: encourage

Today’s post comes from our newest small groups staff guy, Craig Eggleton. See Danny’s post on serving one another here.

one-anotherWho doesn’t like encouragement?  Everyone needs a little “‘ata boy or ‘ata girl,” every now and again.  But encouragement often times calls for something deeper and heartier than a pat on the back or a cheerleader in your corner.  Taking a snapshot look at the Scriptures in continuing in the “one another” series, let’s look at what the Word say about encouraging one another.

1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore comfort one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

There are 3 principles I would like you to consider when meditating on this verse.

  1. The encouragement the writer is referring to is motivated by Verse 9: For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ
    Take notice of the “therefore” at the beginning of the verse.  What becomes apparent is that this particular text is fundamentally built upon some truth the writer has just previously mentioned.  Look back at verse 9 and find that the encouragement is motivated by the truth that believers have obtained and continue to obtain salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Do not look over this point too quickly as something you may have already grasped, for I believe in this life we will never be at the point of fully grasping everything Christ has saved us from.   Verse 10 further amplifies a believer’s encouragement in the Lord that whether in life or in death, we will live together with Him.
  2. Encouragement must take place in the context of a community.
    In order to fulfill the command “comfort one another and build up one another,” a believer needs to be plugged into a healthy and vibrant group of fellow believers.   Comforting one another calls for more than the typical shake of the hand and pat on the back during the normal greeting time at the Sunday worship meetings.  This type of comfort is vocal in nature, requiring the community of believers to express the truths of Christ salvation and the assurance of His communion with the saints.  Building one another up calls us to embolden each other in the truth; spurring each other on to obedience and healthy Christian growth.  The way the Summit Church has chosen for such community to take place is within our Summit Life groups.  We feel that being a part of a Summit Life group is vitally important to the spiritual growth and well being of every member of the Summit which is why we go on and on about how crucial it is for each member of the Summit to make every effort to plug into a small group in his or her area.  You can get into a SummitLIFE group on January 18th at GroupLink.
  3. Encouragement is a continual, ongoing practice
    The writer of Thessalonians affirmed the original recipient of their conduct of encouragement in the faith but still found it necessary to command them to continue in the practice.  What we as believers can take from this principle is that we ought to make it our habit to always “comfort one another and build up one another” in the truth of Christ’s salvation on behalf of His saints.  We can never say within ourselves that we have arrived or have attained his quota of encouragement in the faith.  Therefore, encouragement is an ongoing command for the community of believers.
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