Opportunities For Encouragement

encouragement, Thessalonians 5:11, teachingI have a tendency to overlook the small things, to miss their importance in the grand scheme.  I think I am fairly good at keeping the big picture in mind and I am definitely a goal oriented achiever but God is in the details; He says the minute by minute stuff matters and that each and every second of the day belongs to Him.

How does this effect my daily routine?  When I take a break from my desk and make a trip to the water-cooler, for example, do I make it a point to smile and say something encouraging to the folks I pass along the way or am I completely focused on the reason for my trip (the goal of reaching the water-cooler) to the exclusion of the people around me?

Opportunities for encouragement seem like such a small thing but I am starting to believe that they make a tremendous difference to our Heavenly Father.  The beginning of our mission here is to preach the gospel so that souls might be saved in Jesus’ name but the ongoing work is the teaching and the encouragement of those saved souls to continue to seek God’s face and God’s heart and to be like Jesus.

Even though we are saved we still have that natural man within us, that fleshly nature that unless we are taught differently, will continue to lead us astray and into sin.  I need daily reminders to do good and to be good.  We all do.  Without the renewing of our hearts and minds by daily prayer and Bible study the saved children of God will not grow and will never become mature and Christlike.  I need frequent reminders of this truth as I am sure you do as well.

Going back to the example above, if I have Christ’s love foremost in my heart and a smile on my face as I make my trip to the water-cooler then I can share that with others.  Instead of receiving, at best, no regard from me whatsoever and at worst a frown and a negative attitude they get a small taste of God then that can make a large difference.  God can take those seemingly small interactions and use them for great good because little is much when God is in it!

In this I am both the teacher and the student.  It is my sincere hope and prayer that I encourage others so that they, in turn, can encourage someone else.  I am the encourager and I hope to be the encouraged.  I believe that this is how God wants us to treat one another; loving the lost in such a way that they see Jesus and loving the saved in such a way that they are motivated to do good works.

Opportunities for doing good and for being an encouragement are plentiful.  Do I have eyes to see them?  Do you?

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another  – Thessalonians 5:11a (NASB)