Encourage and Build Up

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. – (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NLT)

So encourage each other and help each other grow stronger in faith, just as you are already doing. – (1 Thessalonians 5:11, ERV)

 

Though these were Paul’s words to the church of Thessalonica, they are still are relevant and applicable to us today. We are called to continue to encourage and build each other up, so that we may grow stronger in our faith. God created us for community, and it is in that space of community that we find not only the opportunity to encourage and build others up, but we ourselves are encouraged and built up as well. May we rise up and be ready to look for every occasion that we might encourage and build others up.

 

Rise up, be ready,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For we have been called;

To build others up,

Help faith be installed.

As we encourage,

Choose help others grow;

Both sides are strengthened,

As hope is made known.

For you already,

Are choosing love well;

Continue in faith,

In His will, we’ll dwell.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to encourage and build each other up. Thank You that in doing so, we help one another grow stronger in our faith. Thank You that You supply all that we need to do that which You call us to do. Forgive us for neglecting occasions to encourage or build others up. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would lay hold of every opportunity and choose to love others as we are loved by You. Show us how to love well, so that our words and deeds encourage and build others up. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we encourage and build others up, just as You do for us. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

Love Overflowing

“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.” – I Thessalonians 3:12

Paul wrote these words as an exhortation and prayer for the Christians in Thessalonica.  “If we are full of God’s love, it will overflow to others.  It is not enough merely to be courteous to others; we must actively and persistently show love to them.  Our love should be growing continually.  If our capacity to love has remained unchanged for some time, ask God to fill us again with His never-ending supply.  Then look for opportunities to express His love.” – (NIV Study Bible footnotes)

In order for our love to increase, we must decrease – our agenda, our ideals, our desires, our “rights” – and allow His love to fill us up, once again.  His love is without limits; it is we, who are not willing to receive all that He has to give.  When we humble our hearts and are intentional to spend time with Him, (in His word, in worship, in prayer and in wait) He is faithful to fill us to overflowing.  As our love grows, it overflows to those who are around us.  Our patience and persistence increase, while anger and animosity decrease.  The more we are in tune with Him and readily receiving His love, the more often opportunities become obvious where we are meant to  choose to love others well.

Line-up from L to R – me, my cousin, Gram, my sis, my mom – LOVE!

My grandmother, whom I affectionately call Gram, is one of the greatest human examples of this kind of overflow that I have ever had the pleasure to know personally.  She has lived through The Great Depression, WWII, devastations, heartaches, deaths and dismay, great love and great loss, yet through it all, she has chosen love.  Everyone who meets her feels safe, known, heard, and loved in her presence.  Her heart for people clearly reflects the love and light of the Lord.

Dear Heavenly Father, may Your love in us increase abundantly so that it might overflow to all whom we encounter.  Forgive us for failing to receive all that You are ready to give.  Heal our hearts so that we will readily receive, and in turn, pour out Your loving kindness to all.  Lead us Lord to love like You.  May many come to know how deep and how wide is the love You have for each of us, as we invest in our relationship with You.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present