“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” - I Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV).
There are many things that occurred during the 1992 Olympics in Spain, Barcelona, which no one ever recalls. However, there is an event that has lived through memory. In the course of the 400 meter semifinals race, a British record holder sprinter, Derrick Redmond, tore his hamstring. He hobbled to a halt, and then fell to the ground in pain. Stretcher bearers made their way over to him, but Redmond pushed them off. He got up and began to hobble along the track.
Then from nowhere his father, Jim Redmond, tore through security and on to the track, lifting up Derek. Jim and Derek completed the lap of the track together, with Derek leaning on his father's shoulder for support. As they crossed the finish line, the crowd of 65,000 spectators rose to give father and son team a standing ovation.
That event signifies in many respects the meaning of the Christian faith. After killing Abel, “Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” (Genesis 4:9). Of course Cain was at fault. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times; and a brother is born for adversity.”
Looking out for one another is a call for every believer. “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness” (Galatians 6:1).
When someone once asked why Christians must engage in the habit of regularly sharing answered prayer requests, the answer was, as one listens to answered prayer requests of other's then if his faith is down, it might be uplifted. This is why the Apostle Paul writes, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).
Like Jim and Derek, let us lift each other up, to finish the race.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, creator of heaven and faith, just as your son Jesus Christ died for my sins, may I always be looking out for my brothers and sisters, to build them up in faith.
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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” – ( Joshua 1:9).
Moses has been described by some as the reluctant leader. When the angel of the Lord appeared to him and he was given the task to finally lead the Israelis out of bondage in Egypt, he protested. “But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” ( Exodus 3: 11). Knowing how the script played out we can be kind to him and say that his reluctance was based on a premonition how difficult the job that awaited him would turn out.
Once he set out, as a leader, it was constantly dragging a restless people, quick to find him at fault, and frustrate his job. When once he delayed up on the mountain, while seeking the face of God, the crowd was quick to throw him out. “When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, "Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him” ( Exodus 32:1).
Aware of the challenges he faced, when the time came for Moses to pass on the baton to his successor, Joshua, he knew that that most important gift he could pass on to him was encouragement. “Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” ( Exodus 31:7-8).
It has been said that it is lonely being at the top. When God gives us leaders, let us never hesitate to remember them in our prayers, especially where theirs is a special job of leading a restless people on to higher knowledge and experience of God.
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I remember all the leaders you have chosen to lead your people to a deeper knowledge of you, that you refresh them with your abundant Holy spirit to be encouraged and remain steadfast, this I pray in Jesus’ name!