1 Thessalonians 2:10–12 (NIV)
10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
What a wonderful example Paul gives us here. At the heart of everything we do, there should be compassion for those we are attempting to serve. If the goal is for those around us to come to a saving knowledge of God, how can we be anything but encouraging and comforting? Everything we do must be in an effort to encourage godly living!
They Are Your Witnesses
Everything changes the moment we accept Jesus’ free gift of salvation. In an instant, you go from just another face in the crowd to being a focal point. Fair or unfair, our lives are going to be examined. The outside world will be searching for the attributes labeled in Romans 1:28–32… (28) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them… If we are going to be examined, we must make sure to stay far away from these attributes. While we will fall short, the goal should be to live holy, righteous, and blameless.
As we deal with fellow believers, we should be doing so with encouragement and comfort. Hebrews 10:24–25 reminds us… (24) And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching… We should stir up love and good works while assembling together.
If the goal is to see others living lives worthy of God, we must be good examples while urging others to live in the same way. Lead by example and then encourage others in every possible way. We must make sure our walk with the Lord is solid before trying to encourage others. It all comes down to disciples creating and encouraging more disciples.
Lead by example, encourage with love.
1 Corinthians 11:1 (NKJV)
1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.