By His Grace: When called to encourage others…

Edith Nevis

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

I truly enjoy encouraging others, beginning at home with family and friends, at the workplace or among strangers in passing, and occasionally myself. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Edit Nevis

I sincerely believe we are to be caretakers of the heart. As followers of Christ, we each have been blessed with the gift that, when allowed, can bring honor to God. And through our relationship with Christ these gifts are the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, all qualities we need when encouraging others.

I have come to learn several important facts when called to encourage another. First, it’s a responsibility that should never be taken lightly.

You never know who may cross your path who is on the edge in life, ready to throw in the towel. It is vital followers of Christ remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit when led to help others.

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

It is extremely important to have a good listening ear when encouraging others. Never speak to hear yourself. Instead, tune your ear toward the Holy Spirit, sharing only what has been laid upon your heart for the one he leads you to. This way, you can validate what is shared through his written word. Our words of encouragement should always line up with the will of God.

For it is written, “For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

Never be too busy to stop and encourage another. If you are led by the Holy Spirit to call someone who had been laid upon your heart at the oddest time of day or night, do it. This has occurred on more than one occasion, and each time the call or interaction was right on time. It is never an inconvenience when doing the work of the Lord. When encouraging others is love in action.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."

I recall, a newly hired employee at the end of his shift learned his ride home had canceled. He begun inquiring from others if he could get a lift, all responded with legitimate reasons they could not. I heard the exchange of conversation and inquired of the young man of his home address.

He lived only a few blocks away from me. I offered a ride, and though he was surprised, he humbly accepted the offer. What would have been a 10-minute ride home evolved into an hour-long conversation initiated by my guest regarding the Lord.

The young man was uncertain about Jesus and all that was written about him in the New Testament. Was it true? As he spoke, I prayed for the Lord’s guidance when it was time to respond while directing him to the Bible to read for self. I listened and learned. He listened and learned. We agreed to disagree in love on some things.

You see, when encouraging others, the mistake most Christians make is to force a belief or doctrine on another instead of simply conversing in mutual respect. The Word can defend itself and does not need us to convince others to believe.

In the end, he told me our meeting was not coincidence. I concur. We agreed God had set our divine appointment for that very moment. It was important that the Holy Spirit had the floor in our interaction, which will eventually seal his fate as a believer in the end. Salvation was on the line. No need to say who won that battle. King Jesus.

I understand it's not easy ministering to those who are in disbelief. When this occurs, fall back. Pray for the individual and most importantly, allow the lord room to work on their heart once the seed of encouragement has been planted.

Remember, every situation we face has a solution in place ready to be discovered.

You may ask how one begins to receive the benefits of these wonderful gifts you speak of?

It begins with Jesus. Allow me to extend an invitation to experience His unconditional love for you. There is nothing you must do but receive it. By your own free will you accept Christ as Lord and Savior.

Please repeat this prayer: "Lord, Jesus, forgive me of my sins I committed against you. I believe Jesus died for my sins and has risen again. Please come into my life and heart and lead the way. I confess you as my Lord and savior from this day forward. In Jesus' name, amen."

Welcome into the family of Christ.

Until next week, be blessed and go in peace. Shalom. 

Bible references: Romans 12:6-8 NIV (Acts 11:27, Eph. 4:11, Cor.9:7); Romans 8:28 (2 Tim. 1:9); John 14:26; 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV (Eph. 1:3). To obtain the full benefits of each verse, please read the five verses before and after each verse. Cross references in parentheses ().

-- Edith Nevis can be reached at 857-2200 or at enevis@gannett.com.