Be An Encourager


The command to be an encourager is found throughout the Bible.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:11-23, the Apostle Paul gives the following 16 examples of how we can be an encourager.

1. BUILD EACH OTHER UP

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV) says Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” Example: Point Out To Someone A Quality You Appreciate In Him Or Her.

2. RESPECT LEADERS

1 Thessalonians 5:12 (NIV) says Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you.” Example: Look For Ways To Cooperate And Help.

3. HOLD LEADERS IN HIGHEST REGARD

1 Thessalonians 5:13 (NIV) says Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.” Example: Hold Back Your Next Critical Comment About Those In Positions Of Responsibility. Say “Thank You” To Your Leaders For Their Efforts.

4. LIVE IN PEACE

1 Thessalonians 5:13 (NIV) says “Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.” Example: Search For Ways To Get Along With Others.

5. WARN THE IDLE

1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NIV) says And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” Example: Challenge Someone To Join You In A Project.

6. ENCOURAGE THE TIMID

1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NIV) says “And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” Example: Encourage Those Who Are Timid By Reminding Them Of God's Promises.

7. HELP THE WEAK

1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NIV) says “And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” Example: Support Those Who Are Weak By Loving Them And Praying For Them.

8. BE PATIENT

1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NIV) says “And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” Example: Think Of A Situation That Tries Your Patience And Plan Ahead Of Time How You Can Stay Calm.

9. RESIST REVENGE

1 Thessalonians 5:15 (NIV) says Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.” Example: Instead Of Planning To Get Even With Those Who Mistreat You, Do Good To Them.

10. BE JOYFUL

1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NIV) says Rejoice always,” Example: Remember That Even In The Midst Of Turmoil, God Is In Control.

11. PRAY CONTINUALLY

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NIV) says “Pray continually,” Example: God Is Always With You – Talk To Him.

12. GIVE THANKS

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV) says “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Example: Make A List Of All The Gifts God Has Given You, Giving Thanks To God For Each One.

13. DO NOT PUT OUT THE SPIRIT'S FIRE

1 Thessalonians 5:19 (NIV) says Do not quench the Spirit.” Example: Cooperate With The Spirit The Next Time He Prompts You To Participate In A Christian Meeting.

14. DO NOT TREAT PROPHECIES WITH CONTEMPT

1 Thessalonians 5:20 (NIV) says Do not treat prophecies with contempt” Example: Receive God's Word From Those Who Speak For Him. But, Always Check Out Their Message In Your Bible For Truth And Accuracy.

15. REJECT EVERY KIND OF EVIL

1 Thessalonians 5:22 (NIV) says “Reject every kind of evil.” Example: Avoid Situations Where You Will Be Drawn Into Temptation.

16. COUNT ON GOD'S CONSTANT HELP

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NIV) says May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Example: Realize That The Christian Life Is To Be Lived Not In Our Own Strength But Through God's Power.

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Do You Want To Go To Hell?



If so, it’s easy and the road is wide! All you have to do is continue living your life as you are now rejecting Jesus (God’s Free Gift Of Salvation).

However, if you would prefer to go to Heaven, according to the Bible (God’s Inerrant Word), there is only one way!

John 14:6 (NIV) says “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
 
WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY?

Heaven or Hell - The Choice Is Yours!

EVERYONE HAS SINNED

Romans 3:23 (NIV) says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

THE PENALTY FOR OUR SIN IS DEATH

Romans 6:23 (NIV) says For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SIN

John 3:16 (NIV) says For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Romans 5:8 (NIV) says But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Jesus Christ paid the entire penalty for all of our sins when He died on the cross. All you have to do is accept what He did for you.

WHAT MUST YOU DO TO BE SAVED?

Romans 10:8-10 (NIV) says But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

ACCEPT GOD’S FREE GIFT OF SALVATION TODAY!

To learn how, please read our “God’s Free Gift" Page. Tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us, so we encourage you to do this today.

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12 Communication Guidelines For A Better Marriage.



1. Be A Ready Listener And Do Not Respond Until Your Spouse Has Finished Talking.

Proverbs 18:13 (NIV) says To answer before listening—that is folly and shame.”

2. Check For Understanding.

If you do not fully understand what your spouse has said, repeat back to him/her what you think he/she said and ask them to clarify their statement.

3. Be Slow To Speak. Think First. Don’t Be Hasty In Your Answers. Speak In Such A Way That Your Spouse Can Understand And Accept What You Say.

Proverbs 15:23 (NIV) says A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!”

Proverbs 15:28 (NIV) says The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.”

Proverbs 21:23 (NIV) says Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.”

Proverbs 29:20 (NIV) says Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.”

James 1:19 (NIV) says My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

4. Speak The Truth Always But Do It In Love. Do Not Exaggerate.

Ephesians 4:15 (NIV) says Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

Ephesians 4:25 (NIV) says Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”

Colossians 3:9 (NIV) says Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.”

5. Do Not Use Silence To Frustrate Your Spouse. Explain Why You Are Hesitant To Talk At This Time.

Being silent is not always bad. You may want to be silent to keep from saying something that you shouldn’t and later, would regret.

6. Do Not Become Involved In Quarrels. It Is Possible To Disagree Without Quarreling.

Proverbs 17:14 (NIV) says Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.”

Proverbs 20:3 (NIV) says It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.”

7. Do Not Respond In Anger. Use A Soft And Kind Response.

Proverbs 14:29 (NIV) says Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.”

Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) says “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Proverbs 25:15 (NIV) says Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.”

Proverbs 29:11 (NIV) says Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.”

Ephesians 4:26 (NIV) says “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”

Ephesians 4:31 (NIV) says Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”

8. When You Are Wrong, Admit It And Ask For Forgiveness.

James 5:16 (NIV) says Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

9. Avoid Nagging.

Proverbs 10:19 (NIV) says Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.”

Proverbs 17:9 (NIV) says Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”

Proverbs 20:5 (NIV) says The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.”

10. DO NOT BLAME OR CRITICIZE YOUR SPOUSE BUT RESTORE THEM, ENCOURAGE THEM AND EDIFY THEM.

Galatians 6:1 (NIV) says “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV) says Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

11. TRY TO UNDERSTAND YOUR SPOUSE’S OPINION. MAKE ALLOWANCES FOR DIFFERENCES. BE CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR INTERESTS.

Philippians 2:1-4 (NIV) says “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Ephesians 4:2 (NIV) says Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

12. Avoid Bringing Up Past Offenses, Mistakes Or Sins That Are Not Relevant To The Current Issue.

A good, clean, respectful, focused disagreement can do wonders for your marriage by helping you solve problems, understand each other, get through difficult situations, and become aware of your own individual shortcomings and blind spots. Grossly over/under-stating or distorting the issue can be toxic and very damaging to your marriage!

If You Are Faithful In Following These Communication Guidelines, You Can Expect To Have A Long, Successful And Very Rewarding Marriage.

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A Quick Test To Evaluate Your Marriage.



Psalm 26:2 (NASB) says “Examine me, O Lord, and try me; Test my mind and my heart.”

BEFORE TAKING THIS QUICK TEST,
PLEASE HEED THESE TWO WARNINGS:

1. We encourage you to share this test with your spouse. But, if you are currently having tensions in your marriage, don’t take this test together or discuss your conclusions except in the presence of a wise Christian pastor or marriage counselor.

2. As you reply, concentrate on yourself, not on your spouse.

IF YOU TRULY DESIRE A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE,
ASK YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

1. Are you patient with your spouse (when he/she is doing something they really enjoy like shopping or playing golf, etc,)?

2. Are you kind to him/her with your tongue? (Or do you put him/her down face to face or behind their back?)

3. Are you jealous or envious of your spouse? (Is there any freedom or success of his/hers that you resent?)

4. Are you “boastful” (loud-mouthed)? (Do you shout angrily at your spouse when you are frustrated?)

5. Are you proud (vain)? (Do you feel that the world should revolve around you?)

6. Are you haughty, selfish or rude? (Blunt words often have the sharpest edges. Do you cut your spouse off in mid sentence to fire back a blunt word or unkind statement? Do you constantly interrupt him/her? Do you ever tell him/ her to shut up or swear at them?)

7. Do you always demand your own way? (Is your idea of marriage a master-slave relationship? Or a parent-child relationship, where your spouse ought to do everything for you?)

8. Are you irritable or touchy? (How do you speak to your spouse when he/she interrupts your point of concentration? Do you lose your temper, or do you give him/her the attention they need? How much of your body language shows him/her your disapproval of lack of love?)

9. Do you refuse to forgive your spouse when he/she sins against you (commits adultery, etc.)? Matthew 6:14-15 (NASB) says For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

10. Are you ever glad (secretly or otherwise) when your spouse is treated unfairly? (Are you ever happy at the thought of your spouse having an unpleasant experience that “serves him/her right”?)

11. Are you glad when truth wins out? (Do you accept the fact that he/she might be right about some things, and you might be wrong? How do you feel when that happens?

12. Are you loyal to your spouse? (Do you flirt with others or pay any attention to their flirting with you? Are you allowing any other human or things to shove your spouse into second place?)

13. Do you always trust your spouse and believe he/she will do the right thing? If “No”, you need to have a serious discussion and establish some rules.

14. Do you always stand your ground in defense of your spouse? (Do you quickly order your children, regardless of their age, to apologize if they are rude to your spouse? Do you ever let anyone talk negatively about your spouse without defending him/her?)

DANGER – ROUGH ROAD AHEAD!

15. Do you discuss your anger toward your spouse or details of your intimate relationship with your spouse with others (parents, siblings, girlfriend, buddies, etc.)? If you are doing this, stop it now!

Why? Because you and your spouse may have had a heated argument or fight and have made up but, because you told these others, they will still be angry at your spouse and may continue to make negative statements about him/her. Then, you’ll become angry with them every time they say something negative about your spouse.

Your anger with your spouse or details of your intimate relationship should only be discussed with your spouse, God, or a wise Christian pastor or marriage counselor, if necessary.

THE END RESULT

If you have taken this Quick Test”, been honest with your answers, and made the appropriate changes, you will be on your way to having a much happier spouse, greatly improving your marriage, and more peace in your home.

In our next post, we will present some Communication Guidelines for a successful marriage.

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5 Keys For Successfully Resolving Personal Relationship Conflicts.


By: Bill and Teddy Rogers

All of us have had or, if we live long enough, will have conflicts in our personal relationships. How we handle and resolve these conflicts is very important.

James 1:19 (NIV) says My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

Here are the 5 keys needed to successfully resolve most of your conflicts.

KEY # 1: BE QUICK TO LISTEN

When we listen, we encourage the other person to talk. Listening also helps us to understand the other person and where they are coming from.

Many of us do not really listen like we should because we are defensive, we assume we already know what they are going to say next, or we're thinking about what we're going to say back to them.

During A Conflict, Here Is What You Should Do:

  • Listen not merely with your ears, but observe and listen with your eyes;
  • Focus on what the other person is saying, not what you are thinking;
  • Consider the meaning behind the words without jumping to conclusions.

Note: If you are not sure what you think they said, replay their statement back to them.

KEY # 2: BE SLOW TO SPEAK

God gave us two ears and one mouth. This may mean that we are to listen more and speak a whole lot less.

Here Are 4 Scriptures That Tell Us To Limit What We Say During A Conflict.

Proverbs 10:19 (NIV) says Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.”

Proverbs 17:27 (NIV) says The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.”

Proverbs 21:23 (NIV) says Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.”

Ecclesiastes 5:3 (NIV) says A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool.”

KEY # 3: BE SLOW TO BECOME ANGRY

Ecclesiastes 7:9 (NIV) says Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.”

Proverbs 16:32 (NIV) says Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.”

Ephesians 4:26 (NIV) says “’In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”

Proverbs 29:22 (NIV) says An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.”

Remember: Words spoken in anger are very difficult if not impossible to retract. Keep your words soft and sweet, you may have to eat them!

KEY # 4: BE LOVING AND KIND

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV) says Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

You will never resolve any conflict by playing destructive games.

Never Do The Following:

  • Blame the other person;
  • Think you know everything about the other person;
  • Insist that every detail be correct;
  • Rule by force – verbal or physical;
  • Compare the other person to someone else;
  • Act superior or “holier than thou”;
  • Bring up past conflicts that have nothing do do with the current conflict.

KEY # 5: ATTEMPT TO SET THE STAGE
BEFORE YOUR CONFLICT

  • Never have your conflict before eating a meal, going to church or a social event;
  • Never have your conflict when you or the other person are angry;
  • Have it in the right place when only the participants are involved ( never in front of children );
  • Stay in control of your tone of voice.

Obviously, there are exceptions to all of the above, but if you use these 5 Keys and use them wisely, you should be able to successfully resolve most of your conflicts.

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