Ephesians 5:19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, (NIV)
My neighbor friend held her young daughter in the air to show her newly learned move. The scorpion. For those, who like myself, wasn’t up on the terms. The leg mom held was down. The other stretched up behind her back. Her arms stretched back over her shoulders, as she held that leg like a human lolly pop. It took much effort, practice, and some coaching.
This made me think; do I ‘bend over backwards’, going out of my way, to cheer others on in their walk with the Lord? Encouraging others takes a thankful heart for those God gives us. It also takes a humble heart to notice ways you see God working through others. It really encompasses Jesus’ highlighted top commandments of loving God and others. (Matthew 22:37-40)
One of the gifts given by God’s spirit is exhortation. (Romans 12:8) Described in 1 Corinthians 14:3 as a portion of the gift of prophecy. The supernatural enablement by the Spirit to warn, rebuke, urge someone toward the action of following God’s will, and to encourage, comfort or strengthen believers in the faith. Of course it’s up to the heart receiving the message to yield to the leading of God. Since the message originates from the Spirit, in His timing, it is powerful and effective. Prophecy is articulation of God’s word, piercing the heart, convicting of sin, resulting in repentance and praises to God. (1 Corinthians 14:22-25, Hebrews 4:12) A particularly diverse and useful gift indeed!
All gifts are given by God’s Holy Spirit, by grace not by earning, for the common good of those who bear His name. We are to steward the gifts God gives us, for mutual edification. We are also encouraged to desire more spiritual gifts, for the strengthening of God’s people. (1 Corinthians 12:31) Yet at the same time, be content with the gifts God gave us. (1 Corinthians 12:18)
Todays verse indicates, we are ALL to act with exhortation toward one another in Christ’s body. We are to encourage each other as we see the day of the Lord approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Our neighbor’s daughter must trust the one holding her high in the air. We also must trust God who gives us the will and way to love Him and love others. (Hebrews 13:21)
We all need reminders of God’s wondrous works. His mighty deeds and miracles. His faithfulness and favor through all generations. (Psalm 119:90, Psalm 100:5) He is the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow, drawing hearts by His steadfast love. (Hebrews 13:8)
Psalms articulate a range of emotions and heart-cries to the Lord, and express the sure hope we profess in our Deliverer. Hymns express the joy of our Salvation and the awe of our mighty God. Let’s stir one another as we speak such truths. What joy these things must bring our Lord, like a song aroused by His love for us.
Application: How have you been encouraged by a friend who went of their way to remind you of God’s character? His faithfulness, His grace and mercy. His sovereignty and loving-kindness. Please comment below, for the mutual edification of others reading!
Lord, how wonderfully do the upward facing praises of others encourage us in our endurance! You truly hold everyone and everything together. Continually encourage our hearts to look expectantly for Your hand working wonders between the individuals in Your Body, the church. ~Amen.
1 Corinthians 12:25-26
1 Timothy 4:13