Weekly Newsletter

Pastor David’s Weekly Devotional
Have you ever met someone who seemed to have the “gift of discouragement”?  Of course, there is no such spiritual gift, but perhaps we all know someone who tends to be more discouraging than encouraging – or, more importantly, perhaps we all can admit that there are too many times when we ourselves tend to be more discouraging than encouraging.  It’s easy to do.  Being critical of others doesn’t really take much effort.  In fact, it unfortunately comes very natural to us – not to mention the fact that “taking others down a notch” can sometimes make us feel better about ourselves (deflating another’s ego while at the same time inflating our own).

The stark reality is that we are repeatedly commanded to encourage one another, and are never instructed to be discouraging.  Likewise, God has not given us the responsibility of humbling those who are prideful; we are called to be encouragers.  Here is a sampling of Scriptures commanding us to be encouraging (these may be familiar to you, but let me encourage you to read each one carefully):

“… encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1Thess.5:11).
“… encourage one another daily…so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness” (Heb.3:13).
“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb.10:25).
“… let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Heb.10:24).

Simply put, Christians are not to be agents of discouragement, and the church is not to be a place of discouragement.  While we may be called upon to correct or admonish someone’s prideful behavior (see 1Thess.5:14; 2Tim.4:2; Tit.2:15), we are never called to intentionally discourage or humiliate anyone.  The fact is, God will humble those who are haughty:

“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matt.23:12).
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble … Humble yourselves before the lord, and he will exalt you” (Jms.4:6,10).
“The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day” (Isa.2:11).
“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right … And those who walk in pride he is able to humble” (Dan.4:37).

God is more than able to deal with human pride with perfect love and grace.  Our responsibility is two-fold: 1) To humble ourselves, and 2) To encourage others.   We don’t need to be overly concerned about “giving someone ‘a big head.’”  Rather, our focus should be on building one another up in the Lord.  This is not empty or insincere flattery, but honest, loving and Christ-honoring encouragement.

Together in and for Christ,
Pastor David

Scripture Readings for the Week (Monday – Sunday ~ Week #37):
Numbers 17-20; 1 Chronicles 25-29; Psalm 108-110; Proverbs 23-24; Amos 1-4; John 16-18; Titus
Recommended Reading:  “The Blessing of Humility” by Jerry Bridges

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