Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Paul begins his letter to the Romans by expressing his great longing to see them.  They are on his mind constantly and always in his prayers.  (Is that how you feel about the church family God has given you, Dear Reader?)

In Romans1:11, Paul writes, "For I long to see you that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you -"  Hmmm, a gift to strengthen his brothers and sisters in Christ...a prophecy? a prayer for financial blessing? protection from persecution?

Nope.  Paul continues in verse 12, "- that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine."  When Paul - that great Apostle to the Gentiles, the man who penned so much of the New Testament - wanted to give a most precious gift to the beloved church in Rome, he chose the gift of mutual encouragement.  Let me share with you again the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and how that Gospel is daily transforming my life!  You tell me again the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it's influence among you - how is Jesus ministering to you? growing your faith? increasing your love for and service to one another?

I've had two "holidays" recently when I've been blessed with extended time in the company of Christian sisters - last weekend at a movie shoot, and last night on the front porch.  On both occasions, the sweetest savor of our time together was that time spent sharing our faith - talking about what God is doing in our different churches, in our families, and in our own hearts.  Hearing the "Travel Journals" of their Christian journey in this life - and sharing my own - provided such sweet encouragement and truly strengthened my faith.

 Friend, you have a precious spiritual gift to give to the body of Christ - the gift of encouragement that comes from living in faith as a family.  Next time you see a Christian sister or brother, give them the gift of Jesus.  Tell them how God is working in your life - convicting you, calling you to repentance, challenging you, growing you, and encouraging you as you seek to comprehend the Gospel more fully and to put shoes on it daily.  Ask them how God is working in their lives - What are they learning in Scripture?  How are they growing in faith?  Where do they feel convicted, comforted, or encouraged in their walk?  How can you pray the Gospel for them?

Encouragement - a gift fit for royalty, for the sons and daughters of a King.  And it's yours to give today! 

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