Monday, December 16, 2013

Acts 20 Study - Day One "Encouragement"

Hello Shining Lights,

This is day one of our Acts 20 Study.  Let's get started!


Acts 20:1-3

New International Version (NIV)

Through Macedonia and Greece

20 When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said goodbye and set out for Macedonia. He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, where he stayed three months. Because some Jews had plotted against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia.
The keyword for this section of verses is ENCOURAGE!!! Paul encouraged the disciples before leaving them for his journey.  Then as he traveled through the area he spoke, "many words of encouragement to the people".  Who are we encouraging?  Paul was planning a trip but still took time to encourage the disciples.  He was travelling on his way to Greece but did not let the opportunity to encourage many people pass him by.  Then he stayed in Greece for three months and I believe that he was encouraging people even then.  One name for Paul should be "The Encourager"! 
Encourage means to give courage, hope and confidence.  You may be going through a very ruff valley in this life journey but that should not stop you from speaking a life giving word to those around you and also to yourself. (That will have to be a separate lesson.) Ask God to give you what to say and how to say it so that the word you give to someone is a life giving and inspiring word.  I cannot tell you how many times I retype or adjust an encouraging text message or tweet to make sure the word sent out is a life giving word and from the LORD. 
Please understand that your encouraging word does not have to be super deep.  Here are some examples of encouraging things to say:
1.  God Love's You!
2.  I Love You!
3.  God is with you.
4.  I am with you.
5.  You were mastered by the Master.
6.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
7.  God doesn't make junk so you must be a treasure. (Love that one!)
What is so wonderful about speaking a word of encouragement is that when you do, you hear yourself saying it and thus you encourage yourself and the other person at the same time!!!!! Do you get that?  You absolutely cannot encourage someone without encouraging yourself.  As the words come out of your mouth, they are heard by your ears and the other persons ears.  WOW!!!!!!!  Thank God for revealing that.  HALLELUJAH!!!!  (Yes, I like exclamation points.)
Dear God our Father,  thank you for your holy and encouraging word.  Father help us to be an encouragement to everyone around us.  Give us wisdom in what we say.  Help us to choose the right life giving words to give each other courage, hope and confidence.  In Jesus' Name. Amen!
Let Your Light Shine!
P.S. God loves you and I love you too!

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