1 Thessalonians 5:11 - BE AN ENCOURAGER.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV) Therefore 
encourage one another and build each other up, just as 
in fact you are doing. 

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT) So encourage each 
other and build each other up, just as you are 
already doing. 


   I doubt many people would argue about the 
power of the spoken word. 
   We don't need a master's in psychology to 
know that our hearts leap at the sound of 
affirming words. It's just how God wired us. Any 
co-worker with a new hairdo will agree. Any toddler 
who is potty training or husband who just closed 
the big deal will nod emphatically as 
well. We possess a tremendous ability to very 
simply "make someone's day" with heartfelt praise 
or to even alter the course of a life with the 
power of our words. 
   Oprah, Bill Gates, and Tiger Woods have 
all, at one point, attributed their early success 
to the empowering encouragement of someone 
else. Perhaps it was just a small phrase or 
statement, but one that was instrumental in building up 
or perhaps even just holding up hope and belief 
for a brief second. That can be all the time it 
takes to get someone to look at the mirror 
   Conversely, it doesn't take that same 
graduate degree to know that the power of words can 
be unleashed as perhaps the most primitive of 
weapons. Most of us would agree that whoever penned 
that little ditty about "sticks and stones may 
break my bones, but words will never hurt me" was 
obviously never a fifth grader. Words can not only 
hurt, but they can leave shrapnel in the soul long 
after the explosion hits and the smoke clears. 
Next time you need a reminder about the power of 
the negative word, dust off the book of James. 
It's been said that the tongue is the strongest 
muscle in the body. I think the spirit would 
   So... having taken a moment to consider 
the power and impact of both our life-giving, 
affirming words as well as the life-robbing, 
destructive power of the tongue... here's one more 
thought to chew on, (pardon the pun). What about the 
power of words never spoken? For me, I can look 
back on my life and count too many times when I'd 
wished I'd listened to my gut (and the Holy Spirit) 
and just had the courage to open my mouth and 
let my heart spill out, regardless of the 
awkward moment. You've heard the rather overused 
challenge to live each day as it if were your last... 
but there is real wisdom there. Why wait to say 
"I love you?" Why wait one more day to forgive? 
Or to ask for forgiveness? There is a reason 
that Paul, in Ephesians 4, encourages us not to 
let the sun go down on our anger. Perhaps 
because he knew, as a hunted and persecuted man, 
that a sunrise the next morning was not something 
to be assumed. He understood, better than 
anyone, the importance of keeping his accounts 
   Say it now. Go there. The tongue might be 
powerful, but so are clenched teeth and a firmly set 
jaw. And silence can speak volumes we never meant 
to say. Matthew 12:34 reminds us that what is 
in our hearts, will come spilling out of our 
mouths. If your heart is full today, or even broken, 
consider springing a leak and letting someone know. 
The relief and healing that may follow will make 
you a believer in the power of words, all over 
again. By Nichole Nordeman Dove Award-Winning 


   One of the most spiritual things you can 
do is encourage someone. We are told to 
encourage one another every day so that sin's 
deceitfulness doesn't harden our hearts. While it's always 
meaningful to encourage someone after they've done a 
good job, scored a goal, or gotten a really cool 
new haircut, it's even more important to 
encourage someone spiritually. 
   Imagine how God might use you to 
encourage someone to press on when they feel like 
giving up. Or how God might help someone's marriage 
as you tell them how you've overcome the same 
problem in yours. Think about how much of a 
difference you could make to someone who is down by 
telling them who they are in Christ. 
   Sometimes you can literally be a voice of 
hope. You can be the difference between someone 
quitting or staying in the game. Between someone 
giving in or continuing the fight. From someone 
continuing to hate or choosing to forgive. Between 
someone losing it or finding real peace, 
contentment, and joy. 
   Be watchful. Be prayerful. Be ready. You 
may walk by someone at work who seems fine, but 
is in real pain. You may talk to someone by 
text that puts up a good front, but really needs 
someone to listen. You might encounter a total 
stranger, and one word of encouragement might make a 
big difference. 
   You have no idea what God might do in 
someone else's life through one simple act of 
encouragement. Be available to him today. 
   Use me today, God, to bless those around 
me. Direct me to the one person who needs 
encouragement the most. [Daily Power by Craig Groeschel] 

   We may look strong and stable as 
believers. But any thinking Christian knows he or she 
can't survive apart from relationships with other 
believers. When bitter winds of adversity blow; we need 
each other's support. When our minds are gripped 
by perplexity and we don't know which way to 
turn, we need the counsel, the perspective, and 
the listening ear of a friend. 
   God engineered us so we require the 
intertwining of genuine give-and-take fellowship. Even 
Jesus needed this. On the last night of His life, 
when the storms of satanic opposition began 
howling around Him, He asked for help: "Stay here 
and watch with Me" (Mat. 26:38).  If Jesus 
sought support from his disciples in the midst of 
His trials, how much more do we need our 
brothers and sisters? Today's Scripture reads, 
"Encourage one another and build each other up." You 
need Jesus today. You also need His people. And 
they need you. 
   Father, keep me from living so 
independently, so separately from others. Show me how I 
might encourage, affirm, or build up the people I 
come into contact with today. I need discernment 
from Your Holy Spirit to know when to speak and 
what to say, and to know when to be silent and 
simply be there. [A Spectacle of Glory by Joni 
Eareckson Tada and Larry Libby]  


   Several years ago my family and I were 
invited to spend Thanksgiving weekend at a 
picturesque ski resort in Colorado with about five 
hundred single young adults, most of whom were staff 
personnel with Campus Crusade. I spoke all week on the 
subject of servanthood, emphasizing the importance 
of believers being those who help, encourage, 
affirm, and care for others. 
   By Friday of that week I decided to take 
a break and hit the slopes (emphasis on hit, 
since it was the first time I had ever attempted 
to ski). It had snowed all day Thanksgiving, so 
the ski areas were absolutely beautiful and in 
perfect condition. I struck out on my virgin voyage 
with a positive mental attitude, thinking, "I'm 
going to be the first person who learns to ski 
without falling down. Guinness Book of World Records 
will hear of this and write me up!" 
   Don't bother to check. I'm not in the 
book. Working with me that humiliating day was the 
world's most encouraging ski instructor (yes, I had 
an instructor!) who set the new world record in 
patience. She is the one Guinness needs to interview. 
Never once did she lose her cool. Never once did 
she laugh at me. Never once did she yell, 
scream, threaten, or swear. Never once did she call 
me "dummy." Never once did she say, "You are 
absolutely impossible. I quit!" 
   That dear, gracious lady helped me up 
more times than I can number. She repeated the 
same basics time and again"as though she had 
never said them before. Even though I was colder 
than an explorer in the Antarctic, irritable, 
impatient, and under the snow more than I was on it, 
she kept offering words of reassurance. 
   That day God gave me a living, 
never-to-be-forgotten illustration of the value of encouragement. 
Had it not been for her spirit and her words, 
believe me, I would have been back in the condo, 
warming my feet by the fire, in less than an hour. 
   What is true for a novice on the snow 
once a year is all the more true for the people 
we meet every day. Harassed by demands and 
deadlines; bruised by worry, adversity, and failure; 
broken by disillusionment; and defeated by sin, 
they live somewhere between dull discouragement 
and sheer panic. 
   All of us, even Christians, need 
encouragement. All of us need somebody to believe in us. To 
reassure and reinforce us. To help us pick up the 
pieces and go on. To provide us with increased 
determination in spite of the odds. 
   We all need encouragement  and we all 
need to be encouragers. 
   The beautiful thing about encouragement 
is that anybody can do it. 
   We all need encouragement  and to be 
encouragers. Were all qualified to do it. [Chuck 
Swindoll www.insight.org.] 

   When Johnny Cash was young, he had a high 
tenor voice. Across the street from his hometown 
high school lived La Vonda Mae Fielder, a music 
teacher who offered private singing lessons at $3 a 
pop. Johnnys mother took in laundry to earn 
money for her sons first - and, it turned out, 
also his last - lesson. 
   His sister accompanied Johnny and his 
mother to Fielders home that day, and vividly 
remembers what went down in her living room.  
   Ms. Fielder said, Well, let me hear 
what you can do. So, he sang a song - I 
dont remember what it was - and she said, You 
can stop now. He hung his head and said, 
You mean Im no good? She said, On the 
contrary - you have a gift from God that I wouldnt 
dare touch! Youre a song stylist. Always do it 
your way. And that encouraged him greatly 
because he knew he had that calling. 
   Those words, in contrast to so many 
withering ones from his father, impacted Johnny 
   By the time Johnny turned sixteen, his 
voice had become a deep baritone. Johnnys 
singing, while cutting firewood one day, brought 
tears to his mothers face because it reminded 
her so much of her daddys voice. 
   She looked him square in the eye and 
added portentously: God has His hand on you, 
son. Dont ever forget the gift. For the 
first time since his brothers death, Johnny 
Cash felt suffused with Gods grace and imbued 
with hope that his life had a purpose after all. 
[Greg Laurie from Harvest Ministries; 


Romans 14:19 (KJV) Let us therefore follow 
after the things which make for peace, and things 
wherewith one may edify another.  

Ephesians 4:12 (KJV) For the perfecting of 
the saints, for the work of the ministry, for 
the edifying of the body of Christ:  

Ephesians 4:29 (KJV) Let no corrupt 
communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is 
good to the use of edifying, that it may minister 
grace unto the hearers.  

1 Thessalonians 4:18 (NIV) Therefore 
encourage each other with these words. 

Hebrews 3:13 (NIV) But encourage one another 
daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none 
of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. 

Hebrews 10:25 (NIV) Let us not give up 
meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, 
but let us encourage one another--and all the 
more as you see the Day approaching. 


If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or 
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either 
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in 
hearing from you.  Thanks in advance and let's keep 
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred 


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