Strengthen, Encourage, Comfort

“Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel” (Proverbs 20:15, NIV).

When Jesus taught, people were amazed at his teaching. John describes him as being “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14, NIV). They said that they really couldn’t find anyone else who taught with authority the way Jesus did.

As a result crowds gathered around Jesus, seeking his teaching. And when they heard what he had to say, many of them went away strengthened, encouraged and comforted.

Today, when we read Jesus’s words, when we gather around him and listen to what he teaches us in the Bible, the very same thing is likely to occur. I come burdened, carrying my baggage, with my head spinning and full of the disruptive, discouraging thoughts of life in a fallen world.

Then Jesus speaks to me through the words of the Bible, and his words lighten the burden on my heart. I am strengthened, encouraged, and comforted. The gospel extends to me the forgiveness of my sins. It assures me of the Spirit’s life-changing strength. It gives me solid hope — especially the hope of a future in heaven.

Now Jesus has passed onto us the authority to share the gospel with others. And there is no greater gift, no greater responsibility, no greater cause, than to clearly and accurately teach Jesus and his promises to others.

To desire to do this, Paul write to the Corinthians, is to desire the greatest gift of the Spirit. And it is to seek the ability to strengthen, encourage and comfort those around us.

Someone who desires these things is indeed “a rare jewel.”

“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort… I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue” (1 Corinthians 14:1-3, 18-19, NIV).

Our Bible reading for Thursday, August 20, is 2 Chronicles 10:1 – 12:16, 1 Corinthians 14:1-19 and Proverbs 20:15-24.

Lord, help me to teach your gospel message accurately, helpfully and compellingly. I want those who are around me to be strengthened, encouraged and comforted by your gospel promises, and the love that caused you to make those promises.

Header image based on "Carmen Lucia Ruby" by Cliff, CC By 2.0

Published by

pastorjeffgunn

I'm married to my beautiful wife Julie and have five kids whose names all begin with the letter A. I'm a pastor at CrossWalk Church in Phoenix, AZ. I love Jesus, my wife, my kids, and my grandkids. Huge Arizona Cardinals fan! Reading, hiking, camping, travel, and fishing are my top 5 downtime pleasures.

One thought on “Strengthen, Encourage, Comfort”

  1. Our Bible reading for Thursday, August 20, is 2 Chronicles 10:1 – 12:16, 1 Corinthians 14:1-19 and Proverbs 20:15-24.

    “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.”
    ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:1-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    “A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?”
    ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭20:24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Heavenly Father, you are a mystery to us all. Help me to understand your word, your works, and all you bring to me and those I love. Help me to unveil your words clearly, and to the best of my ability when the opportunities arise. Your promises and your grace are wonderful gifts, and they are there for anyone who will come to you. We know you guide us in all we do, only if we listen. Lord guide me with your hands, show me the way of truth.

    ~Paul Montenieri

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s