Did You Know?

Twenty-five men and no women have 

been executed in the United States in 2018.

A five-year recovering alcoholic is struggling.  It has been a rough day, roughest in a long while and he is craving a drink.  He calls his friend who is willing to drop everything and be with him if needed.  As they talk, he is reminded by his friend of rough days in the previous five years, reminded of how far he has come in his recovery.  “Do you need me there?  I can stay the night to make sure you don’t relapse.”  The conversation had helped, the reminders of the past made him feel empowered; he had succeeded before and he would again.  His friend’s offer was also motivation.  Knowing that others believed in him and wanted him to continue his success.

 

“Come on!”  “You can do it!”  “Let’s go!”  The screams echoed throughout the gym.  The weightlifter stood beside the squat rack - weights racked, ready to go.  She looked at the weights, mentally calculating the amount.  It was a record breaker and her teammates knew it.  She stepped up, position herself, took a deep breathe, and lifted the weights away from the rack.  Her teammates screams of encouragement, motivated her, making her believe that she could do it.

 

The disciples had self-doubt.  For many months, they had followed Jesus, seeing Him perform miracles and listening to His teachings.  Now it was their turn.  They were being sent out on their own, without Jesus, to minister, to teach others.  They things they had seen and heard were extraordinary!  But they were ordinary men.  How could they do as Jesus did?   

 

These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food.”  (Matthew 10:5-10, ESV)

 

“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”  (Matthew 10:26-28, ESV)

 

Jesus gave His disciples a challenging task.  He then instructed them to take nothing and rely on others.  Jesus’ instructions were not to make the disciples task harder, but to encourage them.  Jesus knew they could do as He asked - without back-up.  These instructions also forced the disciples to rely upon the Lord for all their needs.  Jesus knew His disciples feared the task ahead of them.  He told them to have no fear, for they spoke the truth, which cannot and will not be silenced.

 

Our friends, family, loved ones, even strangers, can encourage and motivate us to achieve what we fear we may not be able.  And as followers of the Lord, we are also to use our words to encourage and motivate others.

 

Do not let unwholesome [foul, profane, worthless, vulgar] words ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good for building up others, according to the need and the occasion, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear [you speak].  (Ephesians 4:29, AMP)

 

The Apostle Paul knows all about struggles.  He was blinded, spent time in prison, suffered illnesses, and false accusations.  He also knew the importance of encouraging others.  There were times he needed encouragement, and he never failed to offer it to those to whom he was writing.  

 

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.  (1 Thessalonians 5:11, ESV)

 

Jesus does not just want us to tell others about His message, He wants us, just as He wanted the disciples, to live it!  Our words are part of living a life for Him!  We are to encourage others in all aspects of their lives - living a healthier lifestyle, turning away from sin, stepping outside our comfort zone to minister for Him.  We live in the world.  Lets use our words to motivate others for a better one!

 

Words have power!  Words have the power to create!  Words have the power to deceive and manipulate!  Words have power in silence!  Words should be used carefully!  Words reflect our heart!  Words have the power to instruct!  Words have the power to teach!  Words have the power to destroy others!  Words have the power to destroy ourselves! Words have the power to encourage!

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