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Summary: A sermon on 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (Some illlustrations taken from other SermonCentral contributers)

Sermon for 3/28/2004

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Introduction:

A. Vs. 8 in some translations talks about being sober. In many worship services we have that one down. Nothing will move us. This is not how people in the New Testament were. When Paul went before Festus, he called Paul mad. When the Holy Spirit came down, they accused the apostles of being drunk. This is not what is being talked about here when it mentions being sober.

B. We are to be enthusiastic

C. We are to smile.

D. Encouragement is a lacking element in our world. VS. 11

Thesis: This morning we are going to talk about three forms of encouragement; selfish-encouragement, selfless- encouragement, and Supreme encouragement.

For instances:

I. Selfish encouragement.

A. Remembering times in the past that have turned out good. (Heb 10:32 NIV) Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. (Isa 46:9 NIV) Remember the former things, those of long ago.

B. Clayton A. Pepper- As we drove up the steep, winding road to the Cave of the Winds near Colorado Springs, we came suddenly to a narrow passageway between high rock walls through which it looked as if the car could not possibly go. But facing us was a sign which said: “Yes, you can! Millions of others have!”

C. We are having twins again. The chances for us of having a set of fraternal twins are 1 in 39. After we had one set of twins the chances for us (just us) of having another set of fraternal twins was 1 in 5. Couldn’t find numbers for the chances vs. the general population of having two sets of fraternal twins. Now the chances of anyone having two sets of identical twins are 1 in 70,000.

D. We were told these numbers by the doctor (1 in 5). However, when we got married we wanted to have 3 children. We wanted to have a girl if possible. Our boys were past 3 and potty trained so let’s just have one baby. It would be cake just to have one baby. We have heard many people talk about how difficult having just one baby is and we laughed at them. Two babies is double everything. They are double trouble, double diapers, double the food, double the joy, double everything. To have one baby must be a snap. Nothing compared to what we have gone through.

E. Crystal told me we were expecting. That’s fine. One baby will be a breeze. Then she came home after her first ultrasound and said those words that still ring in my ears, “We are having two babies again.” We didn’t speak to each other for at least a week, so shocked. The Lord and I have had more than one conversation about the situation.

F. It is overwhelming. But you know what, we have done it before and we can do it again. WE don’t know any different. WE can do it and we will.

G. (1 Cor 10:13 NIV) No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.

H. My problems are so unique. I am unlike other people. No one understands! Garbage, there is nothing new under the sun! If we look around we can find people in similar situations and many times in worse shape than we are.

I. Yes, this is a little vain, a little selfish to internalize all of this but it is needful in every life from time to time.

II. Selfless- encouragement.

A. People go out of their way to be rude and obnoxious.

B. Naturally people are discouragers.

C. To be able to encourage others is one of the callings of the church. If we do not encourage others, who will? The right kind of encouragement will not break people. It will put pep in their step and a smile on their lips.

D. If we accept a particular position and all we get is grief and no encouragement, we will quit.

E. A man visited a church service. It was his first time there. It was one of those mornings when the soloist, a tenor, must not have gotten out of bed on the right side.

As the newcomer listened to the faltering voice, he looked around. People were pulling out hymnals to locate the hymn being sung by the soloist.

By the second verse, the congregation had joined the soloist in the hymn. And by the third verse, the tenor was beginning to find the range.

And by the fourth verse, it was beautiful. And on the fifth verse the congregation was absolutely silent, and the tenor sang the most beautiful solo of his life. That is life in the [real] body of Christ, enabling one another to sing the tune Christ has given us. (5)

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