Early one morning I was passing a field of sheep near my house. It had been a bitterly cold night, and the sheep were huddled close together in a corner of the field, obviously seeking to find a measure of protection and warmth from one another. I thought how sensible of them this was!
In these dark and difficult days, as God’s “sheep” we need to stick together, to find comfort and strength from one another. Even though we are not able to meet physically because of covid restrictions, there are now so many ways in which we can communicate instantly with one another – through phone calls, both video and audio, messaging apps, emails and Zoom gatherings. What an encouragement this can be!
Today’s verse exhorts us to consider how we may spur one another on and encourage each other. I know how important timely words have been for me on occasions, when the Lord has prompted someone to bring encouragement just when I needed it. We can all be used in this way for one another. Proverbs 25:11 says that: “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Our words can build up and bring life (Proverbs 18:21). And Proverbs 16:24 tells us that: “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones”.
Instead of waiting for someone to call you, why not ask the Lord to show you today who needs to hear a word of encouragement from you? You could start to pray for that person and ask God to give you a particular word for them. In that way, we can be an important part of Jesus’s body here, bringing warmth and comfort to one another, like those sheep in the field on a cold night!
Prayer: Lord, I am sorry if I have been focusing too much on my own needs at this time. Please show me if there is someone I can encourage today. Please show me how to pray for them, and please give me a word to encourage them and build them up. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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