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Celebrating God's Work
Theme of the Week: Freely Give Encouragement
Thursday, October 12, 2017

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Key Bible Verse: Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. (Romans 1:11-12)

Dig Deeper: Proverbs 12:18

Encouragement is a tool that chisels away imperfections in the clay that is your life and mine. It's the spoken word, the typed email, the handwritten note that is meant for personal growth. It's anything from a quick phrase to a 45-minute sermon that shapes one's character more closely into the image of Jesus.

Kevin DeYoung writes, "Encouraging is not spotlighting a person but underlining God's grace. It is not about commending nice people to make them feel good, but commending the work of the gospel in others to the glory of God."

DeYoung's statement got me thinking: How often do I see God at work in a believer's life and encourage him or her about my observation? Am I even looking for it? Do I freely acknowledge this as the work of God, or am I too self-focused to see Jesus in my brother or sister in Christ?

Far too often, believers become critics rather than encouragers. We question people's motives. We judge their actions. We jump up and down pointing our finger of guilt as though we're back in second grade sitting across the table from the person we suspect stole our chocolate chip cookie.

Source of quote: Kevin DeYoung, "Encouraging One Another," Ligonier Ministries, www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/encourage-one-another-2/ (accessed June 14, 2017).

—Rob Bentz in The Unfinished Church

Adapted from The Unfinished Church ©2014 by Rob Bentz. Used by permission of Crossway. All rights reserved.

Prayer for the Week
Heavenly Father, thank you for caring Christian friends who've been there to encourage my walk of faith; help me to do the same for others.

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JOSEPH J TURNER JR

December 17, 2014  8:07am

thank you, we all very much need more encouragement and to have Jesus shape our character through his word is a blessing. My Response: I Joe will commit to encourage more than criticize; build up more than tear down.

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JESSE R IRVIN JR

December 17, 2014  7:13am

Encouragement is the tool that chisels away imperfections. That is what I need, because life does' have many challenges. Thanks for the word to go forth and be of good faith. Jesse Irvin

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ANTHONY Swaggerty

December 17, 2014  6:23am

Amen, right on time. M.O.I. I so enjoy the daily food I receive from the words of encouragement and values in the words you share. Anthony

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