Summary: A sermon that looks at three steps for being an encourager. 1. identity in god. 2 Overcoming discouragement 3. encouraging. Borrows heavily from David wilkinson on point 2

The Pathway to being an encourager. Encouragement.

HEB 3:12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. This morning I want to talk about the importance and strategic importance of a biblical truth. That Biblical truth is encouragement. Without encouragement the body of Christ can not really flourish.

You meet some people sometimes who are incredibly discouraging. They have a gift of emphasizing the negative.

I remember three people from my childhood. One a teacher who after I played the best game of rugby I had ever played scoring a lot of tries and I came into the class and a friend called Brian Young was singing my praises and the teacher said something so negative about me that I lost heart as a rugby player.

Another person was a teacher who spotted my strength at reading and was always getting me to read stories to the class

And another teacher who encouraged me to write Vince Boyle and used to get me to read my stories to the class.

Guess which two teachers I have tried to keep relationships with as an adult?

Encouragement is so important and we need to be given it.

Encouragement changes history.

You may know the true story of Robert the Bruce King of Scotland.

Bruce and the Spider(Scotland)

HUNDREDS of years ago there was a king of Scotland and his name was Robert the Bruce. It was a good thing that he was both brave and wise, because the times in which he lived were wild and dangerous. The King of England was at war with him, and had led a great army into Scotland to drive him out of the land and to make Scotland a part of England. Battle after battle he had fought with England. Six times Robert the Bruce had led his brave little army against his foes. Six times his men had been beaten, until finally they were driven into flight. At last the army of Scotland was entirely scattered, and the king was forced to hide in the woods and in lonely places among the mountains. One rainy day, Robert the Bruce lay in a cave, listening to the rainfall outside the cave entrance. He was tired and felt sick at heart, ready to give up all hope. It seemed to him that there was no use for him to try to do anything more. As he lay thinking, he noticed a spider over his head, getting ready to weave her web. He watched her as she worked slowly and with great care. Six times she tried to throw her thread from one edge of the cave wall to another. Six times her thread fell short. "Poor thing!" said Robert the Bruce. "You, too, know what it’s like to fail six times in a row." But the spider did not lose hope. With still more care, she made ready to try for a seventh time. Robert the Bruce almost forgot his own troubles as he watched, fascinated. She swung herself out upon the slender line. Would she fail again? No! The thread was carried safely to the cave wall, and fastened there. "Yes!" cried Bruce, "I, too, will try a seventh time!" So he arose and called his men together. He told them of his plans, and sent them out with hopeful messages to cheer the discouraged people. Soon there was an army of brave men around him. A seventh battle was fought, and this time the King of England was forced to retreat back to his own country. It wasn’t long before England recognized Scotland as an independent country with Robert the Bruce as its rightful king. And to this very day, the victory and independence of Scotland is traced to a spider who kept trying again and again to spin her web in a cave and inspired the king of Scotland, Robert the Bruce.

The Duke of Wellington, the British military leader who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, was not an easy man to serve under. He was brilliant, demanding, and not one to shower his subordinates with compliments. Yet even Wellington realized that his methods left something to be desired. In his old age a young lady asked him what, if anything, he would do differently if he had his life to live over again. Wellington thought for a moment, then replied. "I’d give more praise," he said.

Bits & Pieces, March 31, 1994, p. 24.

We all need encouragement and this morning I want to expose three ways in which you can help create a culture of encouragement in your own life and in your church.

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