Here we are with only one sermon to go in our spiritual gifts series. I’ve enjoyed it, and I’ve enjoyed the follow up conversations even more. Again, feel free to reach out to me if you want to interact.
This week’s spiritual gift is the gift of encouragement. While the gift is mentioned in several places, we read Romans 12:
Romans 12:6 “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”
And we pursued these thoughts…
Big Picture Question: How does God gift encouragers to the church? God gifts encouragers to the church who are…
To find these thoughts, we looked at a passage from Acts 15. There the Apostles were addressing a concern in the church of Antioch. Jewish and Gentile Christians were interacting for the first time, and the Jewish Christians were trying to get the Gentiles to begin following the law.
So, they sent some risk-takers to encourage the church. They send Paul, Barnabas, Judas, and Silas to speak to the church. The Apostles have to figure how to keep this situation from causing a divide in the church that might never be repaired. So much is at risk. Encouragement is always a risk.
Second, these encouragers are culturally aware. They have to figure out a way for these two cultures to co-exist. So, they look at the situation, and they place a small burden on the both parties. The Jewish Christians are going to have to realize that the Gentiles are not going to begin obeying the whole law. And the Gentile Christians are going to need to eat a bit differently around the Jewish believers. They need to be culturally aware and be careful about eating certain ways.
And then boldly, these 4 go and present this information to the church, and guess what? The church received it as an encouragement, and they rejoiced.
There was so much more said in the sermon, but we wrapped it up in this way:
Truth: God gives encouragers to the church who are risk-takers, who are culturally aware, and who are bold so that the people of God would be reminded of the grace, love and call of God in their lives.
Application: Live knowing that God has placed you in the church to give encouragement, receive encouragement, and to forever learn how to do both in grace and humility.
One: Today and this week, pray that God would show you specific people and specific ways in which you can be an encouragement to someone who needs it.
Two: Trust that others are doing the same for you.
Three: And pray the God would gift encouragers in this church so that we may all be encouraged in the hope that is ours in church.
If you would like to listen to the sermon, you can find it on our website. And I look forward to interacting with you this week.