Ultimately, I want each of us to examine ourselves and see our weaknesses and how we can develop into better encouragers. No matter how well or poorly we have done in the past, there is always room for growth and improvement!
In The Barnabas Factor on pages 50-52, Aubrey Johnson sets forth ten outstanding reminders for encouragers that I would like to share with you:
1. Remember to encourage others the way you would want to be encouraged in their situation. Matthew 7:12 - "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets."
2. Remember that people are inclined to treat you the way you treat them. Luke 6:38 - "Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use it will be measured back to you."
3. Remember that your time, talent, and treasures are heavenly trusts for encouraging others. Philippians 1:20-25 - "According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy and faith."
4. Remember to prize people above everything except faithfulness to God. Mark 12:29-31 - "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
5. Remember that every act of encouragement is an act of love for God. I John 4:20,21 - "If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this is the commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also."
6. Remember that every act of encouragement is an act of love for Christ. Matthew 25:40 - "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasumuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'"
7. Remember that one day you must account for every relationship God has placed in your care. I Corinthians 4:2 - "Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful."
8. Remember that encouraging is a daily privilege and responsibility. Hebrews 3:13 - "But exhort one another daily, while it is called 'Today,' lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."
9. Remember that God encourages us so that we may encourage others. II Corinthians 1:3,4 - "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."
10. Remember that church assemblies are great opportunities to encourage. Hebrews 10:24,25 - "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching."
Dear friends, let us apply these reminders in our lives everyday! Be the encourager God wants you to be!