Pastor’s Ponderings: The Most Useful Tool

Posted by on Nov 18, 2021 in FEATURED, Pastors Ponderings | 0 comments

Homeowners have a garage full of tools for clearing the yard, mowing the grass, trimming the bushes.  And Christians have a lot of tools at their disposal too.  We can pray, we can fellowship with other Christians, we can study the Bible, we can sing praises. 

The devil has many tools too, but the tool that the devil prizes the most is the tool of “Discouragement.”   Discouragement chases people away from God.  It saps their strength.  So, as Christians we need to use our tool of “Encouragement” to protect against Satin’s favorite tool.

Pastor Jim submitted the following thoughts on how we can become better encouragers….

 

Greetings Friends:
 
PLEASE READ:  Proverbs 15:23

“A man has joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!” (NKJV).

PLEASE READ: Ephesians 4:29

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (NIV).

PLEASE READ: Ecclesiastes 10:12

“Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips” (NIV).

PLEASE READ: Colossians 4:6

“Your speech must always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person” (NASB).

 


I pray that all of us will be blessed by this humble offering.

In the New Testament, Barnabas is a Christian example we can consider modeling as we journey through life. Scripture lets us know that the name of Barnabas means, “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36-37).  This nickname was appropriate since every where he went, he was encouraging people in their lives and in the Christian faith (see Acts 4:36-37, Acts 9:27, Acts 11:25-30, for example).

   
Clearly today so many in the world live with discouragement and little hope. You may work next to someone, go to school with someone, or even sit in the same pew with someone who needs hope, who needs a word of encouragement.
 
There is an old story which I first heard many, many years ago which might be considered a modern day parable which stresses the need for encouragement, and how discouragement is a powerful weapon against God’s people. 
The story goes like this :

Some time ago, an advertisement appeared in which the devil was putting all his tools up for sale. On the day of public inspection, each one of his tools was marked with its selling price: Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Doubt, Lying, Pride, and so on. Set apart, however, from all the rest of the pile, was a harmless-looking tool, well-worn, but priced very high — it was Discouragement!”

Someone asked the devil, ‘why is that one priced so high?’ He replied, ‘Ah, that one is more useful to me than all the rest. With it I can pry open a [person’s] heart and enter, when I cannot get near [them] with any other tools. Once inside, I can lead [them] any way I choose. The tool is very worn because I use it on almost everyone, since few people know it belongs to me.’

Discouragement is a powerful tool which can chase people from God and keep people living in bondage and fear, without any hope for the future. BUT, as Christians there is a much more powerful tool available, that is encouragement! As modern day disciples we can speak a word of encouragement to each other and especially to those who desperately need to hear it: perhaps the struggling college student adjusting to his/her new environment; to the missionary who may feel alone while serving God in a strange land; to the disillusioned newlywed couple; to someone who has received difficult news from a doctor; to the widow or widower adjusting to life without their longtime companion; to those who are living moment to moment because of financial hardship; to the orphaned and the children who need to know that there is hope for the future. In short, speaking a word of encouragement to all those who need to “hear a word in due season”! (Proverbs 15:23b).

As people of God indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit, we have the power in our lips to rekindle a discouraged soul. May we use this season of Thanksgiving, and Advent, in fact everyday and season, to become encouragers, like Barnabas, and thus inspire one another with words of encouragement! It costs nothing, and it may reap an eternal reward. The writer of Hebrews wrote, “encourage one another daily, as you see the day draw near” (Hebrews 10:25).

 

Shalom,

Pastor Jim

 

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