After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.” Acts 13:15
Everyday there are thousands of things being said that people are hearing. It can be heard in reading, listening to the radio news, watching the television news, or hearing it online. Most of what is being heard is not that good of information or news.
Instead of hearing news and information that lifts people up, it is often depressing and crushing. What is going wrong is what is often talked about.
While sitting in a synagogue on the Sabbath, Paul heard the reading of the scriptures. Afterwards the leaders asked if anyone had a word of encouragement to speak. Paul spoke up talking about the history of Israel and about Jesus, both bad and great news.
It is very easy for people to talk about what is going wrong in their own lives or in the world around them. Negative things are often on the forefront of people’s minds, because it is painful and depressing.
Christians have it no differently. They not only have the same problems most unbelievers have, they also can see the sin in the world around them.
Unlike the world, though, believers have a hope that is a word of encouragement. Despite the sin and problems in this world, there is life to be held onto that is worth far more than anything this world can offer. It is a life that will last for eternity. It is a life of peace in the mind and soul that God is in control and with the believer.
The world needs to hear this message of encouragement. Other believers need to hear this message of encouragement.
Going through your days, you will have opportunities to speak up and give a word of encouragement. This could be done at work, in a store, in your neighborhood, or any other place.
It could be letting a person know that sin can be overcome with the power of Christ in his life. It could be letting a fellow believer know that he will win with Christ in the end. It could be letting a non-believer know that there is forgiveness and life being offered.
When someone is talking to you, take the opportunity to give them a word of encouragement about God’s word.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know God’s word to you; that you will speak God’s word to other people; and that you will know and share the hope you have in Jesus.
Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;” Revelation 18:4
In places where there is a major disaster about to occur, such as a hurricane or a major fire, people are encouraged to leave. The encouragement to leave is for their protection and safety in the long run. It is an attempt to keep them from possible death or major injury.
Many people will heed the warnings, while others will try to ride out the disaster.
In John’s vision he sees that Babylon is about to be judged and destroyed. There is a voice that calls for the people to come out. This is so that they will not share in the sins or destruction of Babylon.
The majority of the world is living in a sinful way, with no regard to the future. They are living to be pleased in the moment, not realizing the danger that is ahead of them.
God has called His people out of the life of sin. He has forgiven them and has a plan for them in heaven. Yet, until Jesus returns, every believer is still living in this fallen world. Although believers live in this world, they do not have to partake in its sin.
Everyone who does not follow Jesus will eventually be judged and condemned for eternity. It will be the greatest disaster that mankind will have ever experienced when God judges the world for its sin.
No person has to be under God’s judgement, if He will only choose to repent of his sins and follow Jesus. Every day God is calling His people out of the world of sin into His righteousness and holiness.
No matter what you have done in your past or are currently doing today, God is calling you to step out of those sins. His does not desire to have you caught up in His final judgement against all mankind for un-repented sins.
Choose today to turn away from sin. Repent and follow Jesus with all of your life. Be in this world, but not of this world. God is ready and willing to forgive you of all sins and give you eternal life.
When Jesus returns, it will be for final judgement or for eternal life. Are you getting out while you can?
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will repent of all sins; that you will flee the life of sin; that you will follow God with all of your heart; and that you will not have to share in the final judgement that God will bring upon this world.
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:3
Each and every person on this planet has a story to tell about something that is different from anyone else. Things seen are different for each person. Things experienced are different for each person.
In telling their stories of experience, other people can learn new things or new perspectives. The best stories that can be told are ones that are true and not some fantasy made up.
John tells the people he is writing to that he, and others with him, are proclaiming what they had heard and seen. He did this so that the people could have fellowship with them, the Father and Jesus.
Just as all the people around the world outside the church have a story to tell, so do the people in the church. Every person who has become a believer has a slightly or greatly different story to tell about his experiences with God.
These stories are not to be told in order to brag about self, but in order to share what God has done or is doing. They are to build others up and encourage them.
God is so big and great that no one person can know absolutely every thing about Him and how He works. He works in many different ways with every person.
As people share what God has done in their lives, it can encourage others to trust Him more. It can open the eyes of others up as to the infinite different ways God can work in their lives. And this builds a fellowship between other believers, God and Jesus that will last for eternity.
You may or may not be one who likes to talk, but every day you have a story to tell. You have experiences with God that no other person has had in the exact same way.
Each and every one of your experiences with God need to be proclaimed, in order to build others up. Share your struggles and victories that you have experienced in your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Allow your fellowship with God and Jesus to be shared with every person who is willing to take a moment to listen.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will share what God has done and is doing in your life with others; that your experiences will build others up in the Lord; that you will have fellowship with other believers; and that you will encourage and build others up with your fellowship with God.