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Encouraging One Another
By Larrey Rasberry

     We are to be edified and lifted up by assembling in God's presence.  We are to be taught from Godís Word in its completeness and purity.  Godís word lifts our hearts and spirits to greater heights each time we do this, thus we go from the milk to the meat of the Word, in which we stand.  Those who are led by every wind of change and every strange sound coming from the pulpits today will reap a bitter harvest, if they do not examine every word and spirit of preachers, teachers, and themselves, to make sure that they are from and led by the Word of God. Psalms 26:2, Acts 17:10-11, 1John 4:1 2Cor 13:5.

     Our encouragement is a two-sided sword. Heb. 4:11-13.  We are to be encouraged, and have an obligation to encourage others.  We are taught in Acts 9:31 that the Holy Spirit encourages us.  The Church will always prosper in this encouragement.  In the Book of Romans we are taught to encourage our neighbor Romans 15:2.  This type of edification will give us opportunity to reach out to the lost in our community and around the world to save those lost in sin.  We need the Bible, which is Godís revealed word for us.  We are lifted up by it, as we glean from it, the information to save ourselves and others. Romans 15:4.  Please take note that from every direction today we are hearing the Bible is full of errors and we cannot take it at face value.  Be very wary of these new age teachers.  When you search what they teach, it always has its root in the Dollar Bill.  These men in this crooked and adulterous generation remind me of the Proverb mentioned in Prov.30:20, regarding the way of an adulterous woman.  She eats and wipes her mouth, and says, I have done no wickedness.  These men are the same way, in that they are so deluded, that the truth is far from their hearts.  Please consider that these people have one thing in mind, and it is to fleece the sheep, and not to feed them. Matt 10:16-17.  We profess Christianity thereby placing us in the giving, not taking mode, in our treatment of others. Matt. 25:29, 1Cor.2:12.

     Our position in Christ encourages us to climb even higher, in our service to God, and others. Phil 2:1-4.  The real service we give and the real encouragement we receive is, in the service of others.  We must evangelize, whether we want to or not.  The assembly is called to encourage each other, to worship, to edify, to teach, to pray, to prod us on to do the work we are commanded to do.  We have talents and are required to use them in HIS service. 1Thess. 4:18.

     Living in this world today is trying at best, but we are here for a reason and must not grow weary, particularly when the way becomes difficult, because, John 16:33 tells us that in this world we will experience tribulation, and when we do, not to grow weary.  God is in charge and he has won the battle, our job is to tie a knot in the end of our rope and hang on. 1Sam.17:47.  Please know that this is in the world today, and our battles are not with flesh and blood, but with the powers of darkness, and the rulers of this age. Eph. 6:10-19.  We are warned in 1Pet 5:8 to be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about as a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour.  Paul stated in 2 Cor 11:14-15, that satan transforms himself into an angel of light.  Jesus said in John 8:44 that satan speaks lies, from his own resources, because he is the father of liars.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

     Today, we see so many who are weak and afraid.  I am not speaking of the world, I am speaking of those in the Church.  So many congregations of Godís people have been taught watered down religion to the point of spiritual starvation.  Generations have been done this way and scriptures are replete with example after example.  Do we learn?  NO, we do not learn, we repeat, and repeat the same errors.  Hosea cried about this same problem.  Can we turn the tide, I don't know, but we can know this, repent and turn, and learn, and pass it on to the next generation. 1Thess.5:12-22.

     In 1Tim.5:1-4, we should encourage the elderly among us.  Look after them, tend to their needs and lift them up, as they lift up God.  Today in our present throw away society, where children are murdered under the misguided right to choose concept of the world, and our elderly and those unable to fend for themselves are becoming more and more fair game for the same treatment.  We should cherish our elderly, learn from their mistakes and provide for them.  They have paid a lot of dues and can give us valuable insight as we press on to our goal of Heavenís reward.

     Hebrews 3:7-15 exhorts us as brethern to help each other not to sin.  Our daily contact with one another reminds us of our responsibility to assist in every way possible to not become hardened of heart.  Those who are partakers of Christ must hold our charge from the beginning until the end to achieve the crown laid up for us.  Many today have departed from the way originally delivered to them, and many new names and labels are being applied to brothers who hold to the truth of Godís word and will not subvert it with the doctrines of man.  We have been warned long ago, for those that will only read the Bible.  It plainly states in 2 Thess. chapter 2, that man will pervert the word for his own self-serving purposes, and thereby be lost.

     Lastly please encourage each other with Love.  Hebrews 10:19-25 tells us to be firm in our confession of faith.  Be made bold by a new and living way.  Draw near to God with a true heart in full assurance of faith.  Hold fast to our confession of hope without wavering, because He who promised is Faithful.  We who are daily working to mature in the faith must no longer have just a world view, but a view to eternity, because with God all things are possible Mark10:23-31.  We cannot be channels of blessing if our lives are not free from sin.  We will become barriers and a hindrance to those trying to win.  Please understand, the choices we make here on earth will determine our eternal destiny.  Please choose wisely.