Thursday, March 28, 2013

On Encouragement and Truth

Encouragement without Truth is like Christianity without Jesus; one element simply cannot exist without the other.  So-called Christianity without Christ is a stinking carcass of decadence and drivel; and encouragement without Truth is manipulative and ugly - divisive and cruel.
"A lying tongue hates those it wounds and crushes, and a flattering mouth works ruin." (Proverbs 26:28 AMP)  
I once heard it said of someone that, if you flattered them, they would drop their pants. That's one of the unkindest statements I've ever heard, and the sentiment itself exposed the speaker's insidious heart and motives.  So many times when folks think they're mocking someone (even if what they say is accurate), they're actually exposing their own hearts.

I believe Holy Spirit causes us to observe the pure and good things in others and then speak Daddy's encouragements to them.  I think that's awesomely cool.  God also enables us to recognize those He's marked for our hearts and hands in ministry; to observe them with His tender, clear, focused eyes so that what we say will pierce their hearts with the Truth of the blessing to the world He has made them.  It's then up to us to give utterance to what He's revealed, which benefits us all.

Encouragement is so important.  Breathed from the heart of God, it holds life.  Receiving God's encouragements, for some, can mean the difference between life and death in His supernatural timing, especially since DIScouragement is a cancer that works just the opposite in us in destruction and death.

Think of what happened to the Apostle Peter before He became "on fire" for God through the power and strength of Holy Spirit.  He got scared during the trial of Christ... he panicked and lied and said he didn't even know Jesus, three times.  We all know the story and, in very real ways with God and others, we've all been there, too.  There's not a single child of God who hasn't sinned against Him, and who doesn't know the feeling of genuine remorse and contrition before Him at some point. When Jesus' all-knowing (but still loving) eyes locked firmly to Peter's, convicting his heart, scripture says he went away and wept bitterly.  Again, we all know what that is and what it's like.

But then, do we all give God's ever-compassionate, Redemptive Hand opportunity to mend and heal us with encouragement only His Truth brings?  In Peter's case, the truth of God's forgiveness was all the tonic needed to encourage him to go forward in God renewed, refreshed, and strengthened; restored in the confidence to call himself God's child.  Saints, that's life-saving breath to me!  In one phrase of God's angel to the women at the tomb - tailored to his repentant heart - Peter's life began again...

"But he said to them, 'Do not be alarmed.  You seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified.  He is risen!  He is not here.  See the place where they laid Him.  But go, tell His disciples - and Peter - that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you'." (Mark 16:6)
Merciful God.  There would be no life without Christ (Who IS Truth) and His empowering encouragements.  Friends, all it takes is a little encouragement to cause someone to see the light of day.  And given the explosive rejuvenation edification carries, is there ever really such a thing as a little encouragement?  I think not.

Let's pray...

[Father, please let us always see and acknowledge the truth of Your character and giftings in Your children, that our mouths will give utterance in obedience by Holy Spirit to strengthen, uplift, and edify those downtrodden and needing courage to start again. Thank You, too, dear Father for the way You've "jump-started" us in faith so many times through the manifest encouragements of Your obedient vessels - God bless them all.  In Christ's Name we pray and thank You.  Amen.]

Smiling in Jesus,
Daddy's Girl

"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)