MUTUAL ENCOURAGEMENT

Scripture Reading:  Romans 1:8-15

“For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you — that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”  (Romans 1:11,12)

There is no question in my mind that the best way to grow spiritually is in community with other believers.  Look at Paul’s statement  to the early Christians in Rome — “that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”  Paul said that his desire was to come to Rome so that he could minister to the church there — “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you.”  

It is certainly true that we need pastors, elders, and teachers to minister to us.  God has called them to do so.  But it is also essential that we are engaged in some kind of Christian community — Sunday School, small group, huddle, missional community, etc. — where we can be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

When God saves us individually, He calls us to be part of His family — “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God…In Him you also are being built into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:19,22).  We are brought into fellowship with other believers and it is in that fellowship that we will grow spiritually together.

The writer to the Hebrews put it this way, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24,25).  We need other believers in our lives who will stir us up spiritually and who will encourage us in our faith.  God intends for us to be an integral part of His covenant community.

Lord Jesus, thank You for saving me from my sins and for placing me in Your family.  Thank You for those whom You have placed in my life to strengthen and encourage me in my faith.  May I do the same to them as well.

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