Summary: We are to comfort, encourage, give courage to others.
A Word of Encouragement
Foundational Text: Romans 15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
This morning I would like to begin by giving you some famous quotes concerning giving an encouraging word. I believe it will help to set the tone, or purpose of this morning’s message better than any introduction that I bring to you:
“One of the highest of human duties is the duty of encouragement… It is easy to pour cold water on their enthusiasm; it is easy to discourage others. The world is full of discouragers. We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a man on his feet.”
- Donald Bubna
"There are high spots in all of our lives and most of them have come through encouragement from someone else. I don’t care how great, how famous or how successful a man or woman may be, each hungers for applause."
– George M. Adams
"One compliment can keep me going for a whole month."
- Mark Twain
"When a person is down in the world, an ounce of help is better than a pound of preaching."
- Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. William Arthur Ward.
In accordance with our foundational text, I believe we each have a responsibility to encourage each other in the Lord. I also believe that our enemy knows of the powerful influence that this will unleash if we begin to demonstrate and practice this in our lives. Before we begin we must acknowledge the difference between flattery and encouragement.
I. Our Responsibility to Each Other
Romans 15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
A. One of the first areas that we must see this morning is that this is a God given responsibility. With the responsibility comes the empowerment.
1. Confess: “Let each of us be”? Be what? I believe we can draw out two very important things in which we must be.
2. First: Pleasing the neighbor for good. This may not fully express what the writer was given by inspiration of the Holy Ghost to reveal unto us, so let’s dig a little deeper.
a. make it a practice to please (make happy) his neighbor for his good and for his true welfare – (AMP)
b. Vines – states that please means "to be pleasing to, be acceptable to," "to endeavor to please," and so, "to render service,"
3. Second: to edification
a. to edify him [to strengthen him and build him up spiritually]. – (AMP).
b. oikodomē (oy-kod-om-ay’ a building up. The act of building, building as a process, also that which is built, the building. NT meanings: a building, edifice. edification, spiritual profit or advancement.
B. How often should we be lifting each other up?
Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
1. According to the word of God we are to do this everyday.
a. (ALT) _But_ be encouraging one another daily, while it is being called "Today," lest any of you* be hardened [fig., are made stubborn] by [the] deception of sin.
b. (AMP) But instead warn (admonish, urge, and encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called Today, that none of you may be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the trickery which the delusive glamor of his sin may play on him].
c. (CEV) You must encourage one another each day. And you must keep on while there is still a time that can be called "today." If you don’t, then sin may fool some of you and make you stubborn.
C. What does it mean to encourage?
1. ENCOUR’AGE, v.t. enkur’rage. To give courage to; to give or increase confidence of success; to inspire with courage, spirit, or strength of mind; to embolden; to animate; to incite; to inspirit.
2. New Testament encourage is not used in the King James Version, however, the original Greek language used Greek words that carried the same meaning, yet translated differently into English.
a. Comfort = parakaléō; contracted parakalōì, fut. parakalésō, from pará (G3844), to the side of, and kaléō (G2564), to call. To aid, help, comfort, encourage. Translated: to comfort, exhort, desire, call for, beseech with a stronger force than.
b. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
(AMP) Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing. (CEV) That’s why you must encourage and help each other, just as you are already doing.