Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY

There are so many times we need encouragement. At times we just need it minute by minute. When we are surrounded by encouragement and encouragers the sky is the limit. We can see all possibilities when others are encouraging us in our dreams.
As I was laying in bed this morning I was in need of encouragement myself. Just feel Blah today. It's one of those days where my energy levels are so low I am dragging. The bed just feels like home today. I see so much that needs tending to, and although I want to tend, by body is saying, "What's up with this tending? I think we need tended to!" There are those days in which we must just let the other stuff go and tend to ourselves. So, that is exactly what I did this morning. I went back to bed with bible in hand, and opened up to Hebrews. My first thought was, "Really God, Hebrews?" But Hebrews in jammed pack full of encouragement. Each chapter is cheering us on as God's children. Showing us the way and giving us the instruction we need to get there.

When I opened the book of Hebrews the first chapter just blew me away. I have read Hebrews, but amazingly it didn't give me the impact it did until this morning. Don't you just love how you can read something one time, and then go back to those same exact words and they just floor you with such grace and wisdom? It is like opening up your heart to God and He is pouring in all you need for the day.

Hebrews 1:1-4 "Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, He has spoken to us through His Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son He created the universe. The Son radiates God's own glory and expresses the very character of God, and He sustains everything by the mighty power of His command. When He had cleansed us from our sins, He sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave Him is greater than their names."

Wow! Those words just flow into beauty. They translate so much into our hearts, pouring God's encouragement through His Son into us! Yes, long ago, God spoke through the prophets to teach others, show them the way, and lead them onto a life filled with faith. Today we have God's word right here in our hands. Just think about that for a bit. We don't have to make an appointment with Christ, He is right here with us always. All we must do is open His word and the power pours out. God sustains us through His word. He blesses through His word. He gives us direction through His word. All we must do is open it and our possibilities are endless!

Although these verses stood out to me as beauty, there is much more. Listen as we move on to chapter 2:14-18 "Because God's children are human beings-made of flesh and blood-the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could He die, an only by dying could He break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could He set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. We also know that the Son did not come to help the angels; He came to help the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, it was necessary for Him to be made in every respect like us, His brothers and sisters, so that He could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then He could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since He Himself has gone through suffering and testing, He is able to help us when we are being tested."

Does that not just light a fire under your feet today? It does mine. Wow, what encouragement. God came in flesh and blood. He came in human form so He could be like us. And we would see Him as us, knowing the pain He has gone through, the trials and He faced them with courage and endurance. That is success in every way. Facing what is ahead with faith and trusting in God who knows all and sees all. A God who has the power and might to lift us out of the pit of darkness and set us gently in grace surrounded by unconditional love.

He didn't have to come. But He knew it was the only way for us to truly understand His sacrifice. All He gave was for us. We are all a slave to something. We are all tied and bound by something in this world, and Jesus came to set the captives free. Free from ALL! We are enslaved by so much of this world. We are tested daily. We are pushed to the limits and think we cannot go on, but Jesus shows us we can!

We never know what someone else is going through if we too have not gone through that same trial. And even then all circumstances are different. We find that we can relate to others who have suffered in ways we have. We find we bond to them. We can share with them, and we find acceptance and understanding. We have that with Jesus! He understands, He lived it. He knows the pain, He has felt it. He gives mercy, for He knows the deepest pains of all. When He was upon the cross He carried the world's sins. He carried every burden and shed His blood for each and every one. He gave Himself so that we could find freedom. Is there anything more encouraging than that? We have a God who understands. We have a God who wants to share with us. He is cheering us on. We are not only God's children, but we are brother's and sister's of Christ. We are family, we are strong, and we have a bond that is unbreakable!

Through death on the cross He forever broke the power of Satan. Satan has no power over us unless we give it to Him. There is power in the cross. There is power in the blood. Through Jesus Christ, God's Son, He came to give all He had for us. You and I. That alone is enough, and in that we should be content and know with God we can endure those hardships. They are not to last forever. We can overcome our weakness by finding ourselves in God's presence. We have a Savior who lives in us when we accept His love. In that love all is possible. Find yourself wrapped in encouragement today. Listen as He cheers you on!! We have an inheritance in Christ. In our inheritance we have heaven forever. That alone surpasses anything here on this earth!
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