Exhort and Encourage

Exhort and Encourage

1 Thessalonians 5-11

Comfort and Care
Exhortation and encouragement is a beautiful aspect of our Christian life. Peter is the apostle that encourages us to care for one another, in Christ. Peter tells us: above all, keep loving one another earnestly, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1Peter 4:8.  We should be concerned for the well-being of fellow believers in many ways. Paul is one who reminds us of our responsibility to comfort one another: “wherefore comfort one another with these words..” 1Thess.4:18

Exhort and Edify
Paul also prompts us to come alongside each other – to undergird the other’s faith. “Wherefore exhort yourselves together, and edify one another, even also as ye do”. 1Thess.5:11. We are to exhort ourselves together and edify the body of Christ. We are to comfort each other and help to underpin each other in life: “Exhort yourselves together – Heb.10:25 “Comfort one another” – 1Thess.4:18 “Love one another earnestly”. 1Peter.1:22

Beautiful Picture
Exhort is a beautiful word – exhort yourselves – exhort each other. Exhort is the root word of the Holy Spirit as the great Comforter of our souls. This is a beautiful picture of a friend who gently comes alongside, to encourage. We are shown that we should function in the Spirit of exhortation and comfort.

Spiritual Quality
So in what way are we to reflect this spiritual quality of exhortation? How are we to be best used of Him to come alongside precious brothers and sisters? How are we best able to exhort our fellow believers? Sometimes it is to offer a word of comfort; sometimes to act as a balance; sometimes it is to be a solace or reassurance; sometimes it is to correct; sometimes it is to lead or to guide; sometimes it is to feed the flock – sometimes it is just to be there.

Faithful Servant
A faithful servant will act to exhort and edify his fellow believers in love. A careless steward will act to correct or criticise and smite his fellow-servants, but gracious exhortation can only be done in the power of the Holy Spirit. And any correction must be carried out in love – for love covers many sins. We are to let the love of the Lord Jesus be seen in us. We are to let the Spirit of exhortation work through us for the benefit of others. And always it is to be carried out in the spirit of humility.

Wicked Enemy
Many in these evil days will be afflicted with wounds that aren’t of their own making. Many in these last days will be the target of the enemy who seeks to destroy. The enemy seeks to target the Christian in a number of ways but always remember that, “greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.” 1John 4:4

Enemy’s Wiles
He can never destroy our eternal security but he tries to destroy our testimony. He seeks to shipwreck our faith, and he attempts to overcome us in our walk. He uses weariness to make us slumber, and he causes illness to make us weak. He utilises the tediousness and tasks of life to overwhelm and overtake us. He tries to use financial and family worries to discourage and to defeat us. This is the activity and atmosphere of the enemy on the minds of God’s people. This is part of the battle we’re in. This is the call to exhort ye yourselves together.

Comforting Support
How we need to exhort and comfort one another. How we need to be that support and stay in the lives of fellow believers. Sometimes all that is needed is a gesture – sometimes a word of encouragement. Sometimes a helping hand. Sometimes it is simply quietly sitting still, in prayer. It is not coming alongside and telling one how he or she is wrong and should never be that critical word we so often hear expressed.

Encouraging Exhortation
No, the sort of exhortation required is uplifting; encouraging; exhorting. It is often that word of comfort and encouragement that gladdens the heart. It is maintaining a responsibility towards the good of others. It is taking care of the household of God. It is building each other up in the faith. It is being careful, one for the other – and it is carried out in the power of the Spirit.. for Jesus said, “Feed My Sheep.”

Bible References

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

16 Rejoice evermore.

17 Pray without ceasing.

18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

19 Quench not the Spirit.

20 Despise not prophesyings.

21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

25 Brethren, pray for us.

26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.

27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

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