“Therefore encourage each other” (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
“Let us encourage each other daily” (Hebrews 3:13).
“But let us encourage one another” (Hebrews 10:25).
Have you ever had too much encouragement? Not me. In fact, I don’t know of anyone who feels they have had too much encouragement. Usually, we wish someone would encourage us — just a little would help. A little encouragement goes a long way.
Two schoolteachers made a lasting impression on my life because they affirmed me on English composition papers I had written. In Grade 8 it was Mr. Ratzlaff and in Grade 12, Mr. Dawe. I have not forgotten their names. Many times I have thought of what they said, and I realize that their encouraging words were influential in my daring to write these daily devotionals. There were other factors of course, but I thank God for these men. Little did they know that what they said that day in the classroom would be instrumental in bringing thousands to Christ and inspiring them to live holy lives.
Encouragement! One short encouraging word from you today could help set a child, a friend, or a co-worker on their road to success. Encouragement works better than vitamin pills.
As a grandmother it has been so much fun watching the giftedness of our grandchildren develop. There is always something I can find to encourage and praise them for. Some of them are very creative and leaders, while others are thinkers or good at marketing. Some are encouragers, and others are organizers or helpers. It seems that as I age, it is easier to see the wonderful traits in people. To affirm them encourages them to continue developing those traits. They feel good, and you feel good for encouraging them.
I am impressed with your commitment to read the daily e-mail devotions. You obviously have a hunger and desire to love and serve God. May He bless and keep you!
Father, Your love for us is such an encouragement. Your Word encourages us. You encourage us by opening our eyes to Your answers to prayers. We are so grateful and will try to encourage others today. Amen.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
The mind is like a super-highway. Our thoughts travel roads called neural pathways that are formed from the time we are very young. Some well-traveled paths become wide and deep, like roads we travel every day. These thoughts end at beliefs, which are also formed over time and make up our character and the way we handle life.
When something happens to us, our thoughts automatically travel on the path we’ve built for them and end up reinforcing the beliefs we’ve learned. For example, when we feel rejected over a relationship or a job, our thoughts might travel the path that says, “I’ll never be good enough.”
We can keep those beliefs as our reality, or we can change them. Brain research is showing us that we can change the paths our thoughts travel by being mindful of them. Dr. Caroline Leaf, a renowned researcher of the mind, says it this way, “The mind controls the brain, not the other way around.” The Bible says, “take captive every thought...”
When we begin the practice of thinking about our thoughts and where they go, we can change our lives. Instead of spiralling into depression when we experience conflict or pain, we can create new paths that build on new beliefs of God’s love, grace and His perfect plan for our lives.
The choice is ours. Do we continue to let our thoughts travel on auto-pilot and lead us to despair? Or do we begin to really think about our thoughts and use God’s Word to change our destination?
Lord, open my eyes to how my thoughts are controlling me and how I can begin controlling my thoughts to bring them in line with your Word. Holy Spirit, teach me how to replace my “stinkin’ thinkin’” with the truth. Amen.