16 Jan Day 12: Exhortation
The one who exhorts, in his exhortation… (Romans 12:8)
I had come home from a tough day at work ready to vent to my ever-patient roommate about the heartaches of the day and wondering how to navigate a situation that the Lord had placed in my life. She listened as I talked and talked and waited until I was done to say, “okay, go get your Bible and turn to Proverbs 4.” For the next 20 minutes she pointed me to multiple scriptures about seeking the wisdom of God and wrote down the references for me. I still have the post-it notes on my desk. I came into that conversation burdened and weary. I left that conversation reinvigorated and encouraged. No questions about it, my roommate has the gift of exhortation (also called the gift of encouragement). She has the capacity to urge, encourage, and comfort people towards the application of Biblical truth. And praise God, she uses her gift often!
Now you may be thinking, “Well, my spiritual gift isn’t exhortation, so I’m just gonna skip over this.” But just because my gift (or your gift) is not exhortation, doesn’t mean we get a pass on encouraging others. Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Consider how you can go out of your way to encourage people around you. How do you think our church, our community, and our world would be impacted if we were all constantly considering ways to encourage other people? How do you think your own personal walk would flourish if you were taking this simple step of obedience to encourage others? Here are 5 ways to get you started:
- Take time to point a friend to the Word like my roommate did
- Write an encouraging note to a co-worker who’s having a rough day
- Share an encouraging scripture you recently read with someone
- Go out of your way to sit next to somebody new at church and welcome them into our congregation
- Open up your home for people to gather in fellowship
- Pray that the Lord would reveal more about His character to you as you seek to obey Him.
- Pray that the Lord would bring people into your life that are in need of encouragement.
- Pray for opportunities to encourage the people that are regularly a part of your life.
- Pray for boldness and obedience to exhort one another and stir up one another to love and good works.
- Maybe you are the one in need of encouragement. It’s okay to pray that the Lord would bring people in your life to lift you up! I encourage you to go to HIM. Start in His Word.