Posts Tagged ‘encouragement’

Samuel Anoints Saul 

1Samuel 9:1-6    1There was a Benjamite, a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bekorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin. 2Kish had a son named Saul, as handsomed a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.     

     3Now the donkeys belonging to Saul’s father Kish were lost, and Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys.” 4So he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and through the area around Shalisha, but they did not find them. They went on into the district of Shaalim, but the donkeys were not there. Then he passed through the territory of Benjamin, but they did not find them.

     5When they reached the district of Zuph, Saul said to the servant who was with him, “Come, let’s go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”

     6But the servant replied, “Look, in this town there is a man of God; he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true. Let’s go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.”  

Saul was sent by his father on an important mission—to find their stray donkeys. Donkeys were all-purpose animals, the “pick-up trucks” of Bible times. Used for transportation, hauling, and farming, they were considered necessities. Even the poorest family owned one. To own many donkeys was a sign of wealth, and to lose them was a disaster. Saul’s father was wealthy, and his many donkeys were evidence of that wealth.

The city where the servant said the prophet lived was probably Ramah, where Samuel moved after the Philistine battle near Shiloh (7:17). Saul’s lack of knowledge about Samuel showed his ignorance of spiritual matters. Saul and Samuel even lived in the same territory—Benjamin.  

Often we think that events “just happen” to us, but as we learn from this story about Saul, God may use common occurrences to lead us where he wants. It is important to evaluate all situations as potential “divine appointments” designed to shape our lives.

Lets Bring it Home: Think of all the good and bad circumstances that have affected you lately. Can you see God’s purpose in them? Perhaps he is building a certain quality in you or leading you to serve him in a new area.

Under Gods Command

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

Many think that when God comforts us, our troubles should go away. But if that were always so, people would turn to God only out of a desire to be relieved of pain and not out of love for him. We must understand that being comforted can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our troubles. The more we suffer, the more comfort God gives us.

Lets Bring it Home: If you are feeling overwhelmed, allow God to comfort you. Remember that every trial you endure will help you comfort other people who are suffering similar troubles.

Under Gods Command

1 Timothy 4:12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 

Apparently Timothy needed some encouragement. Most likely, so do many people around you. Each day we have many opportunities to support and inspire family members, fellow workers, and even total strangers. People need help and affirmation all along the way. Paul modeled six important principles to help us encourage others:

(1) Begin with encouragement. People who know we will encourage them will be happy to work with us.

(2) Expect of others only what you expect of yourself. People will resist being held to unfair standards.

(3) Develop expectations of others with consideration for their skills, maturity, and experience. People will reject or fail to meet expectations that do not fit them. Be patient with distracted or slow learners.

(4) Monitor your expectations of others. Changing circumstances sometimes require revised or reduced expectations.

(5) Clarify your expectations with others. People are not likely to hit a target that no one has identified.

(6) End with encouragement. People love to be thanked for a job well done.

 Lets Bring it Home: Do we do more encouraging or discouraging in a day, week or month?  Lets flip the scrip and be more encouraging towards others.

Under Gods Command

Romans: 15:04 For everything that was written in the past was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

The Knowledge of the Scriptures affects our attitudes toward the present and the future. The more we know about what God has done in years past, the greater the confidence we have about what he will do in the days ahead. We should read our Bibles diligently to increase our trust that God’s will is best for us.

Lets Bring it home: How much time do we spend in the Word? Have often do you opened your Bible week to week? Self-evaluation.