Encouragement From The Word

From the archives: Saying Thanks

This bug that’s going around has clouded my mind, so I thought I’d pull something out of the Encouragement archives from 2010 for you this week. JFL

In Matthew 25.40, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (NIV).  In the context of that story – about the sheep and the goats – the righteous are surprised to learn that they had served the Lord in small ways, such as feeding, clothing and caring.  Acting on the grace of God at work in their lives through faith, they had ministered to others, and thereby ministered to Jesus himself.  What they were doing just flowed from them naturally, because of their faith in Christ.

Have you ever thought about the little encouragements you give, the little kindnesses you share?  Perhaps these are ministries both of and to Jesus.  Nobody gets too much encouragement.

For example, last night, having had some minor trouble with my smart phone, I called Bell Mobility tech support to try to get the problem solved.  The chap I spoke with, while not perfectly fluent in English, was extremely courteous, very patient, and gave me the impression that he really wanted to help me with the problem.  While the difficulty turned out to be simple to solve, the process of ‘getting there’ was a bit more complicated than either of us had anticipated.

Still, when it was all done – nearly an hour of trying things and waiting on hold while he talked with another expert – I did not feel exasperated (as I often do at the end of such calls).  I felt that I had been heard, and my concern had been taken seriously.  And he worked to solve the problem to my satisfaction!

When we were finished, I said to him, “I need to ask one more thing of you:  will you put me through to your supervisor, so I can tell that person what a good job you have done for me?”  I think he was a bit surprised that I asked, but glad that I had said why I wanted to talk with his supervisor, because all too often, when consumers ask to speak to the supervisor, it’s to complain.  But I wanted to commend, rather than complain.

I had to leave a voicemail for the supervisor, but at least I had the opportunity to speak some encouragement into the life of a faceless technical support person who could have been in another city or another country for all I knew. But I was pleased with his work and I wanted his boss to know that.

Who have you thanked for doing a good job for you lately?  That may be one of the little things you do for Jesus.

Biblical Messages

Prepare For Judgment!

Judgment is one of those topics that Christ-followers tend to avoid, because we’ve garnered such a reputation – not wholly founded – for judgmentalism.  The reality is that Scripture indicates there will be a judgment, so we should know what it takes to be ready for it.  Based on Matthew 25.31-46 and Revelation 20.11-15, you can listen to “Prepare For Judgment” below.  Feel free to chime in – was the approach too hard?  Too soft?  What about eternal fire versus annihilation?  Have a listen and share your thoughts.  

Biblical Messages

CHRISTIANITY 101: Encore! Encore!

We don’t hear much about the second coming of Christ in the church nowadays.  Maybe it’s because the church has patiently waited for so long, we have lost our enthusiasm about it.  Yet Jesus speaks about it with some frequency, and the other New Testament writers expected his return within their lifetimes.  We do well not to ignore it!

This message is based on Matthew 25.1-13 and can be listened to by clicking here.