Last night we had our Koinonia meeting for young adults. The theme for the evening was ‘Encourage one another’. So today I thought I would just share a few things with you on this theme.
In the meeting last evening we discussed a few words we associate with encouragement and then looked what the New Testament teaches. The Greek word is parakaleo, which literally means “to call alongside.” It presumes that its object is under pressure (fearful, weak, overwhelmed), and it means to strengthen by giving appropriate aid. Ancient Greek authors sometimes used it to describe military reinforcement during battles.
Biblical encouragement presumes that Christians live under intense pressure—not just the normal pressures of everyday life in a broken world, but also the pressures of serving Christ in a spiritually hostile environment—and therefore need to be spiritually strengthened on a regular basis.
Derick Bingham: The ministry of encouragement is open to Christians as it is to no others. Christians have a new life in Christ, an all powerful Holy Spirit to lead them into all truth, and a Heavenly Father who will protect and bless them eternally. If any people anywhere are qualified and equipped to a ministry of positive and healthy encouragement in a desperately discouraging world, it is the Christian church. Christian disciples, Christ said, are the “salt of the earth.” They should make life tasty! They should be, above all else, encouragers.
Let’s try to encourage others rejoicing in everything which Christ has done in our lives. There is always the opportunity to encourage. Check out what this elderly widow did for example:
An elderly widow, restricted in her activities, was eager to serve Christ. After praying about this, she realized that she could bring blessing to others by playing the piano. The next day she placed this small ad in the Oakland Tribune: “Pianist will play hymns by phone daily for those who are sick and despondent–the service is free.” The notice included the number to dial. When people called, she would ask, “What hymn would you like to hear?” Within a few months her playing had brought cheer to several hundred people. Many of them freely poured out their hearts to her, and she was able to help and encourage them.