“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” - I Thessalonians 5:11).
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, lifted 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 our verse today. After killing Abel, “Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” Cain’s answer was, “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).
Encouraging each other in faith is a call for every one of us. Someone once asked why Christians must engage in the habit of regularly sharing answered prayer requests. The reason is because one discouraged in his faith as he listens to answered prayer requests then his faith is awakened. 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).
Prayer for today: Lord Father God, creator of heaven and faith, just as you died for my sins, may I always be looking out for my brothers and sisters, to build them up in faith, this I pray in Jesus’s name.
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23/02/2024 - 24/02/2024 All day
“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them” – (Deuteronomy 28:2).
Every now and then one chances upon someone despising the importance of being enterprising. To some being enterprising can be equated to the love of money and it’s pitfalls (1 Tim 6:10). Others see it as being overtly worldly. Yet, far from it, being enterprising is clearly an avenue God has given believers to raise resources for their well-being and promotion of the rich Gospel.
The Bible is full of enterprising characters who were used mightily of God. Abraham was apparently a good rancher that he “become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold” (Gen 13:2). Job was hated by Satan who sought to destroy him because “He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area” (Job 1:3).
The Lord Jesus Christ was born and raised in the house of Joseph, the carpenter (Mathew 13:55). Carpenters do not create works of beauty to donate for free. To prosper they must run sustainable enterprises which pay taxes and make profit. The Apostle Paul would often rely on enterprising people to support him in his ministry. One of his worthy converts “was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God (Acts 16:14).
Though Paul was a law don once he went to the mission field, other than cling to his titles by burdening his hosts he often dabbled in tent making to support himself. In Corinth he teamed up with an amazing couple, Priscilla and Aquila, and “because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them” (Acts 18:3). This couple run a successful tent making business that enabled them support mission work.
And then of course, there is the noble woman of character, as told in Proverbs 31, who “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings.. She sees that her trading is profitable…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes (vv 13-25).
When the body of believers is filled with such enterprising people it generates resources important to sustain God’s work. Further, the work of God is then supported without being dependent on sources that might compromise the mission, as sometimes we see! Be enterprising!
Prayer for today: Lord father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, you who has given us the gift of enterprise, today I pray to use this gift to take care of my needs and support the expansion of your kingdom on earth, this I pray in Jesus’ Name.