This will often mean more to people than if I was to send them a $5 bill.
1 John 5:1-21
Reference: v.13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (NIV Bible)
Explore: I have a whole stack of little pieces of paper that have printed on them: A Note From Linda. A beautiful friend of mine, Helen, went crazy one day with her printer and made a whole heap of these little colourful notes and gave them to me. Every now and again I will take the notes out and write them to people I am working with. While these notes that Helen made me are quite cute, they are not lined with gold and so do not hold significant monetary value. And while my words are true I am by no means a poet or a songwriter so my written statements are quite plain and simple. However, when someone receives one of these notes it makes a big difference. It's not that they have something of financial value but they have a note of encouragement that says someone has noticed them. This will often mean more to people than if I was to send them a $5 bill. And yet my note has only cost me a couple of moments in time.
Application: So often we forget to encourage the people around us. Even if someone knows they are appreciated it's important to let them know every now and again. Over the last couple of months I've been working for a friend of mine, Clayton. Every single week he says, 'Thanks so much Linda. I really appreciate all you've done today.' And do you know what? Even though he says it every single week, I don't get sick of hearing it! Because I know that he means it I am then motivated to continue to help him. Every single person needs encouragement at some level. Even the early Christians needed encouragement in their faith. They had committed to following Jesus but John still lifts them up by writing them a letter. He knows they already believe in God but in this letter he gives them the encouragement of God's on-going love for them and their hope of eternal life with Him. John knows the people already believe, he know that they already have faith in God but he goes out of his way to encourage them and spur them on in their journey. We all have the opportunity to do that to the people around us. They may already be on the right track and doing a great job but we can have a positive impact on people if we just stop for a moment to encourage them along the way. I know it will make a significant impact on their life.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the encouragement that we can receive by reading the Bible. As the writers communicate to the believers in the first few centuries we can take their words as an encouragement to us today. Amen.
How can you encourage the people around you today?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.