Who Will Encourage You – Who Will You Encourage?

1 Thessalonians 3

Who has God placed in your life to encourage your faith?

For me, the list is long. It starts with my parents and grandparents. It continues with Sunday School teachers. Mike Taylor, Mike Compton and Rodney Salmon are like my fathers in ministry. James Lankford believed in me and gave me an opportunity to grow in ways I never imagined possible. And then there are pastors, Paul Box, Bobby Boyles, Walter Mullican, Dan Campbell, Roger Ferguson, & Chris Wall. Each in their own way helped me take my next step of faith.

There are friends I don’t get to spend as much time with as I would like because we live so far apart – Brian Waddell, Dustin Whitten, Eric Rogers, John McGee, Chris Mayfield, Johnny Baxter, Earl Donor, the Swans.

There are friends I’m honored to serve with everyday – Brent Andrews, Brad Aylor, Keith Davis, Joe McKeen, Kolby King, Ryan Hulseberg, Susan Helm & the rest of the staff at FBCO.

There are people I attend church with – these are too numerous to count.

Who has God placed in your life to encourage your faith?

Paul sent Timothy to the church at Thessalonica for two reasons. He wanted Timothy to encourage them in their faith. Paul wanted to be encouraged by their faith. And that’s exactly what happened. Timothy stepped into the lives of the Thessalonians. He encouraged their faith. He delivered the letter from Paul. He spoke words of life.

And the Thessalonians did the same.

I meet a lot of people who say they like Jesus but they don’t like the church. These people miss out on so much. God gave us one another. The church is filled with people I want to grow with, be accountable to and partner with in ministry. We encourage one another in our faith. We support one another in times of crisis. We serve together to accomplish our mission. Their strengths complement my weaknesses and my weaknesses complement their strengths. We’re far from perfect. We don’t always get along. Sometimes we get on each other’s nerves. Sometimes we argue and fight. Sometimes things get a little weird, but it’s worth it. It’s worth it because having these friendships is better than not having them. It’s worth it because they see things in our world I don’t see. They know things about God I don’t know. They have resources I’ll never have. And the same is true for me. When we come together, to share what we know, do what we do and use what we have something remarkable happens.

We become something more.

Your church and your friends are the family you choose. They should encourage and challenge your faith. You should encourage and challenge theirs. You should pray for one another something similar to what Paul prayed for the Thessalonians:

1 Thessalonians 3:11-13, “May God our Father and our Lord Jesus bring us to you very soon. And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.”

PRAYER

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for my parents and grandparents, my friends, mentors, teachers, coworkers & the churches you’ve placed in my life. My faith is strong because of their influence. My life is better because of them. Whatever the circumstance, Father, you’ve used these people in my life for my good. May you encourage them in their faith. I pray that today each of them would know your favor. I pray for them what Paul prayed for the Thessalonians, “May God our Father and our Lord Jesus bring us together very soon. And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.”

I love you, in Jesus name –
Chad

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