A Word of Encouragement

A Word of Encouragement
Bayless Conley

I want you to look today at a passage of Scripture that helps guide us in what to say, who to say it to, and when and how to say it. Isaiah 50:4-5,

"The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD has opened My ear; and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away."

First, we need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. He will teach us how to speak a word in season to the person who is weary. As it says, He will awaken our ear.

Jesus made it very clear in Matthew, chapter 10 verses 19-20, that the Holy Spirit is quite able to give us the right words to say at the right time. In Isaiah 51:16, God says, "I have put My words in your mouth." In Isaiah 57:19, He says, "I create the fruit of the lips."

Chances are there is someone in your world today who needs to be given a word of encouragement. The key is being sensitive and available. Sometimes we are so embroiled in our own struggles that we don't even give a thought to the fact that there may be someone around us who needs encouragement...a coworker, a neighbor, your spouse, your child.

I personally think our children need to be given encouragement every day. Like the little boy said, "Daddy, let's play darts. I'll throw, and you say 'Wonderful!'" Children crave affirmation and encouragement.

There is someone who you either have contact with now, or you will have contact with, who needs encouragement. And you are God's messenger.

Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God

Jesus Could Not Heal the Sick
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman

"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know" (Acts 2:22).

In his book, When Heaven Invades Earth, Pastor Bill Johnson makes an insightful observation about Jesus.

"He could not heal the sick. Neither could He deliver the tormented from demons or raise the dead. To believe otherwise is to ignore what he said about Himself, and more importantly, to miss the purpose of His self-imposed restriction to live as a man."
Jesus Christ said of Himself, "The Son can do nothing by himself; he can only do what he sees the Father doing" (John 5:19). In the Greek language that word nothing has a unique meaning - it means NOTHING, just like it does in English! He had NO supernatural capabilities whatsoever! While he is 100 percent God, He chose to live with the same limitations that man would face once He was redeemed. He made that point over and over again. Jesus became the model for all who would embrace the invitation to invade the impossible in His name. He performed miracles, wonders, and signs, as a man in right relationship to God - not as God. If He performed miracles because He was God, then they would be unattainable for us. But if he did them as a man, I am responsible to pursue His lifestyle. Recapturing this simple truth changes everything - and makes possible a full restoration of the ministry of Jesus in His Church.

What were the distinctions of His humanity?

1. He had no sin to separate Him from the Father.
2. He was completely dependent on the power of the Holy Spirit working through Him.
What are the distinctions of our humanity?

We are sinners cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Through his sacrifice he has successfully dealt with the power and effect of sin for all who believe. Now nothing separates us from the Father. There remains only one unsettled issue - how dependent on the Holy Spirit are we willing to live?

Today's Prayer

Lord, You are the vine, and I am a branch. I want to abide in You and You in me, so that I will bear much fruit, for without You, I can do nothing...If I abide in You, and Your words abide in me, I will ask what I desire, and it shall be done for me. I pray that Your desires will be my desires; that Your Word will be held close in my heart. By this Our Father is glorified, that I bear much fruit, so I will be Your disciple. Thank You for loving me and accepting me as Your child and disciple. I pray that I will always remain full of Your joy and love others as You have loved me. (Based on John 15:5-12). In Your name I pray, amen.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders

Who Owns It All?
Dr. Charles Stanley

1 Chronicles 29:10-14

A serious error has made its way into the church. Some Christians think that their beliefs and their wallet belong in separate spheres. The truth is, financial health and obedience to God are inseparable. He owns everything (Hag. 2:8; Ps. 24:1). Cash, possessions, and ways to earn more are gifts from the Lord; we are simply stewards.

A steward oversees the use and care of someone else's riches. A wise steward bases financial decisions upon the owner's rules for using and multiplying material goods. In our case, God has woven financial principles into the fabric of Scripture. Since money touches nearly every aspect of life, it is mentioned 2,300 times in many different contexts. For example, God urged the Israelites to stay faithful to His teachings and to avoid the trap of self-reliance (Deut. 8:18). He reminded them that the power to make wealth resides with Him rather than in their own hands.

The minute a steward presumes that he owns the money he manages, mistakes are made. He stops consulting the Owner and spends as he sees fit. Even in trying to do good, the wayward steward is ruled by his shortsighted perspective rather than God's omnipotent view and gentle guidance. He will suffer the consequences of violating Scripture's financial principles.

Faith and finances are permanently intertwined. The bottom line is that we cannot keep our money out of God's hand, because He holds it all—we simply manage it. And we are to do so in wise and biblical ways. A maturing believer follows the Lord's principles for using and growing wealth.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org

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