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If you built a list of encouraging things, what would you include? A kind word, a handwritten note, a timely text? Maybe you’d include a beautiful greeting card or a house warming gift. Many of us would include a hug on our list. I’d include people who cheer me on, wouldn’t you? As you think about your list of encouraging things, I wonder if you’d include a sermon. That’s right, a sermon.
Listen 1 Corinthians 14:3, “But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.” (NIV) In the bible, a prophet’s job was to deliver God’s message. Sometimes that included foretelling the future, but most of the words spoken by the prophets encouraged repentance, instructed people or comforted them. They delivered a message from God. A sermon.
The church in Corinth struggled with a disjointed, confusing worship assembly. Everybody competed to be heard. Paul wrote several instructions to correct the problem. One of them was taking turns to speak. 1 Corinthians 14:31 says, “For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.” Again, this mention of prophesy talks about delivering the message from God. The message was to instruct and encourage.
If you need a little encouragement, you will find it with other Christians. They can cheer you on, greet you, listen and pray for you. Head to church for these things, where you can also be encouraged by the sermon.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.