Sunday – 4.7.13 – Encouragement

 

This week Jeff spent some time digging into the church’s call to encourage one another.

We read in Ephesians that believers in Jesus Christ are, “God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” and we read in Ephesians that God has given the ministry of reconciliation to US, his people. Over and over again, the writers of the New Testament remind the church that we have been saved through faith in Jesus Christ not by any works we have done.  At the same time they encourage us to persevere in the good works that God has now called us to after He saved us. But no one said these works were going to be easy. We know for a fact that they will be hard and we will have to persevere. In this persevering, we have to have the church – the body of Christ – to help us.

We were not created to be alone. We were created in God’s triune image to live in community with one another and support each other. The author of the book of Hebrews tells us to “spur one another one” in the works that God would have us do and this encouragement us essential. The important thing to remember is this: courage comes from the gospel of Jesus and nowhere else. In our culture this can be confusing. We tend to think people just need to “be positive” or need to have higher “self esteem.” But these notions are not grounded in anything and ultimately carry no weight. Believers in Christ should know that courage comes from Jesus and the knowledge of what He has done for us. Do we need to feel guilty about our mistakes? No. Jesus was guilty for us. Do we need to be ashamed of our shortcomings? No. Jesus took our shame. If our marriages are difficult we can take courage from the fact that God knows all about difficult marriages; He is married to an unfaithful spouse – the church. In every situation that we encounter we can know this – God knows about it and has been through it himself. Jesus came and suffered the same temptations and struggles and sorrows that we face. He did that for us and He promises that He will be with us. Take courage!

When we in the church encourage one another we should remind each other of Christ and the strength that we have in Him and His presence in our lives.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:23-25, ESV)”

Band this week was:

  • Jake Taylor – acoustic guitar + vox
  • Patrick Downing – acoustic guitar + vox
  • Scott Wenger – bass
  • Kendal Quinn – djembe
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