Monday, July 15th, 2019
Do you want to be a part of the “in-crowd”? Well, I’m going to give you the best advice you’ve ever had on becoming one of the “in” group—and it’s all straight from the Bible. However, it’s spelled a little differently: This “in-crowd” is spelled “en,” not “in.”
If you want to be in God’s “en-crowd,” first of all, learn to be an ENcourager. Hebrews 3:13 says, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” And again in Hebrews 10:25, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Paul wrote to the Thessalonians “Encourage one another and build each other up. . .” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
There is so little encouragement in the world today. Most of us seldom hear encouraging words—yet we all need them so desperately. Are you an encourager? When was the last time you encouraged someone? Don’t you think a Christian should encourage someone every day?
By encouraging each other, we help each other avoid sin and temptation. When someone encourages me, it helps to keep me from getting off the path and becoming sidetracked. I can tell you there have been times I would have quit God’s calling in my life if someone hadn’t encouraged me. Whenever I feel weary or ready to give up, I start reading the emails from listeners who are kind enough to write and say that the program has helped them. Just a few of those—and my heart is encouraged to keep doing God’s will.
By encouraging each other, we build up the body of Christ. You help me to be more than I would be by encouraging me. I help you to achieve more for Jesus by encouraging you. We build each other up.
Add to your daily prayer list that God will show you one person each day to encourage. Look for them, and say those words of encouragement. It may be one simple sentence, but say it.
Remember this: If you need encouragement, give it away. We reap what we sow—so encourage someone else and you will be encouraged. Get in God’s “en-crowd.” Be an ENcourager.
Tuesday, July 16th, 2019
I’m sharing with you how you can be a part of the “en-crowd”—God’s “en-crowd.” I’ve explained about being an ENcourager, and now I want to explore the word, ENlarge.
In Psalm 119:32 David writes, “I shall run the way of Thy commandments, for Thou wilt enlarge my heart” (KJV). Does your heart need enlarging? Medically, an enlarged heart is not a good thing; however spiritually, we need some enlarged hearts—hearts that are bigger—to have more compassion and love for others.
How do we get an enlarged heart? Through the Word of God. Psalm 119 is the great chapter where every verse focuses on God’s Word, his law, and his commandments. If you and I will focus our lives on pouring God’s Word in regularly and substantially, we’ll have enlarged hearts.
Then in Isaiah 54:2 we read, “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” To be a part of God’s “en-crowd,” you have to be willing to enlarge your area of service to God. God needs some risk-takers, people who see a need, who sense God’s direction, and who simply go for it. They enlarge their tents—stretching out into new areas by God’s grace.
If you wait until it looks safe and every detail is covered, you’ll never enlarge your tent, nor will you lengthen your cords. Are you sitting on the fence, wanting to do something for God, but you’ve been afraid to enlarge? I want to encourage you today to step out and enlarge your tent and your stakes as God directs you. God wants us to be enlargers.
I think many of us are going to get to heaven and discover that God wanted to do so much more with our lives, but since we were afraid to enlarge, we missed the great blessings and joy that comes by stepping out on faith.
Of course, to enlarge our tents, we must have our faith enlarged. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Faith comes by practice. The more you exercise faith, the more you have.
So be one of God’s “en-crowd”: ENlarge your heart, your tent, and your faith.
Wednesday, July 17th, 2019
Christians are supposed to be enjoyers. I’m sharing with you how you can be a part of God’s “en-crowd,” spelled “en.” We are to be ENcouragers, ENlargers, and now ENjoyers.
Do you enjoy your salvation? David once wrote, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation. . .” (Psalm 51:12). This says that I should enjoy my salvation, but it also tells me that I can have salvation and not enjoy it. Are you enjoying your salvation? If not, consider these possibilities.
We cannot enjoy our salvation if there is sin in our lives. That was David’s problem. In fact, a Christian who harbors sin in his or her life is more miserable than a non-Christian living in sin—because it grieves the Spirit of God within. So, if you’re not enjoying being a Christian, check it out. It may be sin.
Or it may be that you haven’t thought about your salvation lately or purposely determined to enjoy it. How do you do that? By often reciting your testimony, even if it’s just to yourself. Talk about that time when you found Jesus and remember the wonderful things he’s done in your life. Don’t get so bogged down in everyday living that you forget to enjoy your salvation!
When you get together with Christian friends, ask them to tell you how they came to know Jesus, even if you’ve heard it before. Some of my most memorable times with friends are when we sat around a dining room table and shared our testimonies. Many of us have been born-again for years and years, some for a shorter time. What enjoyment it is to listen to other people share their testimony.
Yes, indeed, we need to enjoy our salvation. Jesus told his disciples to “rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). I promise you this: If you’ll keep focused on being an enjoyer of what God has done for you, you will be a radiant Christian. Everything else falls into proper perspective when we ENjoy our salvation.