Lesson Three • Devotion #6: Be an Encourager

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God that is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:1-2

When was the last time you received a letter in the mail? I am not talking about junk mail, with a computer label with your name spelled wrong, but an envelope with a handwritten address sent to you by someone that cares about you? 

In 2005, my son joined the Marines. While he was in boot camp, he did not have access to a telephone, so the only communication we had with him was through letters. For thirteen weeks, he wrote letters on Sundays and sent them home. I checked the mailbox every day looking for his handwriting, hoping to find a letter to tell me how the one I loved and prayed for was doing. Those letters are still a treasure to me.   

The Apostle Paul was a letter writer. His letters are scattered through the New Testament, and today we can be inspired by the words that Paul wrote to encourage those in the cities that he traveled to as he spread the Gospel. Paul covered thousands of miles in his missionary journeys, and he grew to care about the people that he met in his travels. He kept in contact with them by writing to them. Paul’s letters encouraged the new believers. His letters let them know that he had not forgotten about them and reminded them of the love God had for them. He also wrote to remind them how a follower of Jesus was supposed to live. Even though Paul encountered many hardships and suffered tremendously for preaching the Gospel of Jesus, he continued sending letters to encourage believers to stay strong in their walk with the Lord.  

Paul’s letters encouraged the believers of his day, and they still encourage believers today.

In his letters, Paul reminds us how much God loves us. In Romans 5:8, he says, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Paul encourages us to pray in Philippians 4:6, saying, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” 

Paul reminds us that we are strong when we depend on Christ Jesus. In Philippians 4:13 (NKJV), he says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  

In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV), Paul encourages us to encourage others. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 

Go to God’s Word, read Paul’s letters, and be encouraged. Who can you be an encouragement to today?

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