Encouraging Children, Spouse and Self

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Synopsis of Encouraging Children, Spouse and Self -2014

Good and joyful morning to all Christian brothers and sisters on this the day that the lord has made. Pull up your favorite chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee, or tea, or milk, or whatever is your favorite… we are about to slice a piece of the bread of life…. the word of God.

Last week I said today we would continue the message on encouragement. So the title of today’s message is, Encouraging Children, Spouse and Self
The world needs encouragement —-we’ve become so callous. Doctor Swainson tells a story of a young lady was in delivery of her first child while her husband sat in the same room watching horror movies. How discouraging…. Parents…. Let me put it in simple terms: your family needs a cheerleader.

Found several times in the new testament. “Blessed be God the father who is the God of encouragement”

Jesus, also, is said to be the encourager
2 Thessalonians 2:16,17 Now may our lord Jesus Christ himself, and our God and father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.
That phrase “comfort your heart” translates to “encourage”

And the Holy Spirit is such an encouragers that it is one of his names.
Paracleat…… That is his ministry.

So, think about this…. When we encourage someone we are in the same ministry as the father, the son and the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:4-5 For whatever things were written before (old testament) were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort (encouragement) of the scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort (encouragement) grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus,

2 Thessalonians 4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, (encourage) with all long suffering and teaching.

so……….. Why should we encourage our children ? ?
2 Colrinthians. 1:3,4 What a wonderful God we have – he is the father of our lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens (encourage) us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this ? So when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us.

Parents….you may, with a word of encouragement,
Drive away the very thing from your child that you are most worried about.
Let me repeat that…….
Parents….you may, with a word of encouragement,
Drive away the very thing from your child that you are most worried about.

Give encouragement to your children while your hair is dark and hear them spoken back to you when your hair is gray.

From the poet, Goethe,
Correction does much, but encouragement does more, – encouragement after criticism is as the sun after a shower.

Let me read to you some thoughts of children……
• when you thought I wasn’t looking—
I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.
• when you thought I wasn’t looking—
I heard you say a prayer, and I knew there is a God that I could always talk to and trust in.
• when you thought I wasn’t looking—
I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it is alright to cry.

After God, the person closest to us is our spouse. If it is not do something about it.

I recently heard a man say about his faithful dog, “This is my best friend”. I shuttered……. I would have hoped it was his wife.

Genesis 2:22 Then the rib which the lord God had taken from man he made into a woman, and he brought her to the man.
Genesis 2:23 And Adam said: “this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.”

Men, we are not complete without our rib, Bone of our bones, our wives.

Women, if God wanted women to rule over men he would have taken her from his head. If she were to be his slave, from his feet. But, he took her from his side to be a helpmate.

An old Jewish Rabbinical writing….
• The man is restless while he misses the rib taken from his side
• The woman is restless until she gets under man’s arm, from whence she was taken.

I’ve lived long enough to realize that making a living is not the same as making a life.

Learn to encourage yourself. How, Bro Dick? Lets look at David

The success of David’s slaying of Goliath is shown in the song the women sang about him…..  “Saul has slain his thousands but David his ten thousands”.

That was encouragement to David…. But, events changed.
In his running from Saul he assembled a “rag-tag” army in Philistia !
1 Samuel 22:-2 , They went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.

Not only a rag-tag army, but an group of discontented, discouraged men. You see, the Philistines want him to fight against Saul…….
But they didn’t trust him, so……… Back to Ziglag where they had left their families.
But they found that the Amalekites had invaded & attacked Ziglag and burned it, and had taken captive the women and children.
1 Samuel 30:5-6 David was greatly distressed, he had lost his three wives and all his children. Then the people spoke of stoning him, because they were grieved. The last sentence of that verbal description says….. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God…

Strengthened himself? Does that mean he built up his muscles? …. ate lots of proteins? ….did calisthenics? No! It means that he encouraged himself! How? There was no one else to turn to! So he turned to God!!! God tells us to exhort one another, but at moments when we do not have another around……….. God has given us all the resources we need.

How can “we encourage ourselves ? ? Here’s three easy steps….                                                   First step of self encouragement… solitude……… get away from this noisy world.
Find some time to be alone with your father.
Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God;
Psalm 62:1 Truly my soul silently waits for God; from him comes my salvation.
Isiah 30:15 For thus says the lord God, the holy one of Israel: “in returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” but you would not,

Billy Graham, before he was well known, was told by a young evangelist, by the name of Chuck Templeton, …. “If you continue preaching that the bible is the inherent word of God, you are committing intellectual suicide.” Billy Graham, not being a theologian, did not know how to argue with the young Templeton. He went to be alone in the forest to be quiet with God.. On his knees he confessed he did not know the answer, but he believed in his bible, and he committed his life to preaching this word. One question…….who is Chuck Templeton ? !

Make a commitment to get alone, quiet, in solitude, with God.

Second step of self encouragement is to get into the word of God.
Romans 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort (encouragement) of the scriptures might have hope.
Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God;
Psalm 34:4-9 I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Friend, can God handle whatever is discouraging you…. or are you going to try to do it all by yourself Just to prove to the world that you are capable ? ? ? The world calls that being stoic.
The definition of “stoic” is: A member of a school of Greek philosophy founded by Zeno about 308 B.C., that holds that wisdom lies in being superior to passion, higher than joy, or grief, etc…… Remember that the Greek—were a very cultured but not very spiritual people, but people of philosophy. Remember the definition of philosophy is: The love of wisdom and the search for it.

May I remind you that Adam and Eve wanted wisdom but did not ask God for it, they got it on their own. David wanted wisdom and asked God for it. God did not call the Israelites stoic when they acted that way……. He called them “stiff-necked people.”

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