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Lesson #7 - Encouragement

Series: Taming The Tongue

Lesson #7 – Encouragement

1. Have you ever been discouraged?

  Have you ever felt down in your faith or low on zeal - - perhaps at rock bottom, spiritually-speaking?

All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us have turned to his own way / Isa.53:6

What helped you revive your faith and renew your fervor?

Did someone’s spoken words help to encourage you and bring you back into the fold?

Proverbs 12:18 / the tongue of the wise brings HEALING.

Proverbs 12:25 notes, anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.

  Learning to speak words of encouragement is a blessing (Js.3:9-10) that results from taming the tongue.

2. There is great power in words of encouragement.

  So many passages in the New Testament speak about this positive Christian virtue.

Rom.14:19 / So then let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

1Cor.14:12 / So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.

1Thess.5:11 / Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

1Thess.5:14 / We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men. Eph.4:29 / Let no unwholesome word proceed from you mouth, only such a word as is good for edification

Heb.10:24-25 / Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds…encouraging one another                                

  The above texts come from the pen of the apostle Paul.  In 2Cor.13:10, Paul speaks

about the authority which the Lord gave him - - for building up and not for tearing down.

  What other passages speak to your heart on this important topic?

3. Shouldn’t we all want to be like Barnabas?

  Why was Joseph the Levite given the nickname, Barnabas? – cf. Acts 4:36-37

After Saul of Tarsus was baptized many were skeptical, but Barnabas vouchsafed for Paul and encouraged him. cf. Acts 9:26-29

Acts 11:24 / (Barnabas) began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord.

  Barnabas also helped to encourage and strengthen John Mark who had previously abandoned Paul (Acts 13:13).

Acts 15:37f states:  Barnabas was desirous of taking John, called Mark, along with them also.  But Paul kept insisting

 that they should not take him along who has previously deserted them…And there arose such a sharp disagreement

 that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and they sailed away to Cyprus. 

~ In one of Paul last letters (2Tim.4:11), he directs Timothy to pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service.


4. Let us look for ways to encourage others.

  Through words spoken - - face to face … email … snail mail.

Through kind and thoughtful deeds. – cf. Acts 4:37

  It’s easy to bite and devour one another, but it takes spiritual discipline to speak words of edification. – cf. Gal.5:15

  One of the best ways to build-up the church is to look beyond ourselves, to encourage the discouraged.

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