Good morning to all, grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many of us today get all kinds of encouragement. We get encouragement to do things, how to believe and what to believe in all kinds of ways. A wrong kind of encouragement to believe can take us in a wrong direction as much as we get encouragement to believe in ways that will take us in the right direction. These are different people that encourage in different ways quite the same way Christ faced when he was on earth. Which group of people that encourage do we fall into?
Today we have one group of people encouraging us to go our own way, to trust in ourselves. They have a label which is "humanist".This group will tell us to make a plan of our own, work it out, and we will succeed. This group tells us we do not need any higher authority telling us how to live or to believe in a higher Creator that knows us more than we know ourselves. Some of this group may believe in a god but they give him no authority over their lives.This may sound very encouraging to some but it leaves out faith in our Father through our Lord Jesus Christ that gives us the right instructions to live by, with his perfect plan he has made for us. Giving up our will for His will is not encouraged through this group. God's encouragement denies ourselves in knowing which direction to live by. His instructions or encouragement is the opposite of this groups encouragement. This group of encouraging people do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.
Mark 8:34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.
Another group of encouraging people are people that claim they know God but encourage others with no truth. They see the sin but only encourage out of their own minds and heart how to love others their own way. These are amazing people the world creates and sees. They do a lot of good and love all people their way. Most of them are called Saints of the world. Through their human sympathy. They are accepting the sin along with the people.They are afraid of loosing their close relationship with a person more than they are in fear of loosing their relationship with God. They love to encourage the way they want to. They create their own Jesus that hides their mind from the persons real need of Him even though God has shown them the real need. This group only hears what they want to hear. They love with a huge natural human sympathy but cannot bare to tell someone their need for God in fear of persecution.This group of encouraging people walk the walk but do not talk the talk. They may look like Jesus but they do not talk like Jesus. They will tell you faith comes from people seeing them live good, caring, and full of love for a person but they do not have the words of God for truth dwelling in them. Faith comes from hearing the word of Christ and if the word is not spoken the person may be a good moral person but it is through hearing the word of truth that His faith comes. These people may study his word and know it but they do not apply it to their lives or encourage others to apply it to theirs.
This group is like the blind leading the blind, no one changes or grows in their faith in God making them in the image of his Son. No truth is proclaimed from this encouraging group. There is no feeding his sheep with His food for his sheep to grow and heal in the right direction. The sheep stay sick in this encouraging group but they do not know they are still sick. They embrace all of their sickness instead of being healed by his truth. This group of encouraging people has not fully surrendered to our Lord they still have in mind the things of men and not the things of God. They will love people their own way but no complete change will take place because no truth from God has been encouraged to follow. This group gives God the glory for their own work, their own loving way they want to love, and proclaim it is his.These people go on loving each other through their human nature but no true and right direction is taken place for either one, the one doing the encouraging, and the one receiving the encouragement stay where they are never growing or changing into the image of their Creator. This group has a lot of men an women loving the encouraging people, praising them and saying a lot of good things about them. This group no change ever takes place within each person, but in the eyes of the world they are amazing people.
Luke 6:22 Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
Luke 6:26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.
John 5:39 "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you posses eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to come to me and have life.I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?
Another group of encouraging people is the self-righteous group. They are the group that claim to be one way but live another. This group will tell you how to act very quickly and sometimes in an angry judgmental condemning way. They truly believe they are encouraging you but at the same time they are still living without God leading them. They are the hypocrites or the false prophets of today as they were then when Jesus walked the earth. They may look good on the outside but they look differently on the inside.They have no love of God in their hearts to help someone from their sinful ways because they have not received their help from his love themselves. These encouraging people talk the talk but do not walk the walk. They will tell you how to live but they live another way and pass judgment on you when they themselves are doing the same thing. They do not repent from their sin, but expect you too. They cover up their sin by doing good things and ask God to bless them for all the good that they do, while their sin is hidden behind closed doors. The one getting encouragement from this group will feel condemned and may not want to hang out with these encouraging people, they will see them live one way but talk another. But if they do hang out with this group they may turn into one of them and go in the wrong direction.
Matthew 23:25 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
There still is another group that encourages who have fully surrendered to Christ. They have the fullness of Him living in and coming out of them to encourage others in His way of thinking, in His truth and without finding fault or blame in any person. This group of encouraging people know they have a sinful nature that has been washed clean by the blood of Jesus and they know that Christ died for them, and that Christ died for all people to save all people from their sinful nature not to condemn them. This group of encouraging people encourage with His words that is dwelling in them because they have been forgiven for their sinful ways and nature and have been given a new nature. His gift of nature that he has given them is full of mercy and forgiveness of anyone's sinful nature. This group has repented of their sinful nature and as accepted Jesus Christ has their only Savior and the darkness in them is passing. What ever this group of encouraging people ask in His name God will do. What ever Jesus has been given by God in thought, word or deed He has given to this group of encouraging people because they have fully surrendered to Christ and live out their lives in repentance to their sinful nature through His gift of faith. They carry their cross through the Spirit of Christ daily. These people will tell you the truth of your sinful nature out of love, they love you enough to want you to change from your sinful nature, because they have been changed from theirs. God is loving all people through these encouraging people for His purpose in them knowing His truth of who He is.
John 16:14 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.
The encouragement you get from this group of people will encourage you to turn away from your sinful nature, the darkness that they once lived in, because Christ has lead them from their darkness and his light is shining through them so others will accept His true light. This group of encouraging people know He is the only true light of human kind and He only can lead you away from darkness. If you are encouraged by these people a change may take place in you. A miracle of His saving grace may take place in you because you do repent of your sinful nature at the cross. You want that relationship Jesus has with His Father. The true light that you now see in these encouraging people through His gift of faith by the Spirit of truth He has given them in God, you now want. Because they have fully surrendered to that faith in who He truly is, their Lord and Savior, you now have been encouraged by them to be saved by Him and make Him the Lord of your life. You have received His light of truth, His light in his word, His light of love, His light of faith, His light of wisdom, and knowledge. This group has told you how too turn from your darkness by His grace that now glows in you so you now will encourage others His way of faith.You will no longer be living a life of sin and His true light will shine through you. Not your own light, but His light! This is a true change within you that has taken place from His real words of faithful instruction that you heard from a true follower of Christ, that has been given you true encouragement. This is Him in them bearing fruit through others, which his is true encouragement! This is His work in and through you now with the His right encouragement. This group will love all people the right way, through Christ loving them through his truth. Their souls is what matters to God and if we are His encouraging people their souls will matter to us. We will encourage them to turn from going in the wrong direction that may lead them to destruction any day. We now know in our hearts God has brought them to us for that very purpose; to encourage them to repent and turn to God away from darkness.
John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
Today how we encourage people will make a difference in the direction we are going and the direction others are going. When we have fully surrendered to Christ we only will be encouraging them one way, His way, through His words and deeds. He is the only way, truth and life for all to receive the true light that He wants to shine through all of us. Today we need to test our self in how we are encouraging people. Are they changing the way they think, speak, love and live because we have changed the way we think, speak, love and live? Are we being deceived by choosing the way we want to think, speak, love and live? Are we creating our own Jesus to suit our own needs? Do we hold ourselves higher than he puts us through speaking his words but not living His life? Do we live the life but do not speak his words? What group of encouraging people do we belong to?