Meadows Church
Stronger Together: Exploring the power of one-another
Welcome to Meadows - in person AND online! HAPPY NEW YEAR! We believe that God is with us in both the times of peace and the times of uncertainty. As you learn to navigate these days, we are here along side of you. Thank you for joining us virtually today!
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  • Meadows Church
    3001 Los Rios Blvd, Plano, TX 75074, USA
    Sunday 9:30 AM, Sunday 11:00 AM
Left to ourselves, we would settle for far less than we are capable of achieving. That’s why we all need encouragement. Encouragement helps us; stretches us; motivates us. Simply put, encouragement is the ability to inspire others to fulfill their God-given potential.

Isn’t that a magnificent animal pictured on the screens? And what a great picture of encouragement as its rider leans in and calls forth every ounce of strength from this four-legged, half-ton bundle of muscle to launch from earth and clear obstacles five feet tall. I’ve never seen a horse go through the passes in a jumping arena without a rider. The skilled horseman doesn’t manhandle his jumping partner, but he does guide, direct, assure and nudge in the right direction.

It’s like that when you are fully engaged with a church family. We help each other reach our God-given potential. We really are stronger together!

There was a fellow in the Jerusalem church named Joseph who so consistently and effectively encouraged others that the apostles nicknamed him “booster boy” or Barnabas in Greek, evidently because of his propensity to encourage and lift others up.

While there are those who are especially gifted in the area of encouragement, and blessed is the family and the church who possess such gifted ones, all followers of Christ are empowered and expected to encourage one another.

In fact, did you know that one of the names for the Holy Spirit is parakletos, literally meaning the one called alongside, or the encourager! If you are a true follower of Christ, you have the Ultimate Encourager living inside you, the Holy Spirit of God.

Are you in need of encouragement today? You’ll find it in church as you connect with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Sometimes they can see in you what your insecurities conceal from yourself. Sometimes they can say just what your heart needs to hear.

And you know one of the best ways to be encouraged? It is to encourage someone else. That very act of thoughtfulness to boost others to fulfill their potential can often be the breakthrough you need to receive the encouragement of the Holy Spirit.

Isolation is the den of discouragement. Why not make a deep and consistent connection with your church family? You can find the encouragement you need to rise above the obstacles of life and reach your potential. You may also find that your ministry of presence is just what someone else needs to clear the hurdles they’re facing in life.

As we continue our new series:
Stronger Together: Exploring the power of one-another
The powerful connection that God has designed for His Church is deeper and richer than anything the world can offer. We have explored
> the power of belonging to one another;
> the power of serving one another;
> the power of forgiving one another, and
> the power of submitting to one another.

This morning we explore the power of encouraging one another. It is the incredible power of inspiration. Open your Bibles to Hebrews 10:24-25. The godly life is an inspired life. Listen to what the Word of God says about the subject.

“The Power of Inspiration”: Exploring the power of encouraging one another

Heb. 10:24-25
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

In these two verses we find everything we need to become great encouragers; to become catalysts of God to inspire people to reach their God-given potential. Think about how wonderful it would be if you could learn to fill this role for your spouse, your children, your grandchildren, your parents, your friends, your neighbors, your pastor, your brothers and sisters in Christ! You can! Nothing more closely resembles the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit than encouragement: the art of inspiring others to reach their God-given potential. So, let’s get started. Within these verses we find the three indispensable elements of divine encouragement. They are:
(1) insightful consideration;
(2) intentional stimulation;
(3) interpersonal connection;
(4) and inspirational celebration.
1. Insightful Consideration: “Caring is the first step of encouraging”
- Let us consider
++ κατανοέω; to reflect with insight; to contemplate; to look into;
to comprehend
++ Matthew 7:3 (The optical hypocrite)
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
++ Luke 12:24,27 (The Outdoor Learning Center)
“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! . . . 27 "Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”
++ Luke 20:20-25 (Duped by a denarius)
They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said, so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. So the spies questioned him: "Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" He saw through their duplicity and said to them, "Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?" "Caesar's," they replied. He said to them, "Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
++ Acts 7:31 (Moses’ takes a closer look)
“When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say”
- With whom do you need to practice insightful consideration?

If you want to inspire others to reach their God-given potential, ask God for insight into the person you are wanting to encourage, but biblical encouragement needs more than that; you also need . . .
2. Intentional Stimulation: “Encouragement clarifies our vision of what could be”
- Spur one another on
++ παροξυσμός; to stir up; to provoke; to motivate; to rouse up; to be a catalyst
++ Acts 15:39-40
“They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord.”
++ Toward love and good deeds
>>> You know what it is when people “rub you the wrong way.”
>>> Encouragement is nudging people the righteous way!
>>> We all have known people who bring out the worst in us
>>> Encouragement brings out the best in others
>>> Church is not primarily about the accumulation of religious knowledge, but the service station to help people love well and do good.
- Who are you inspiring to love better and live better?
Every believer shares in the call to be encouragers. We fulfill that divine calling by caring for people enough to look deeply into their lives and know what makes them tick; what matters to them.
But insightful consideration is not enough to biblically encourage someone. We must also know what moves them and how to propel them into action; get them to take the next step into God’s will and plan for their lives. That’s what intentional stimulation means. The third step of biblical encouragement is all about connection and community. Biblical encouragement requires . . .
3. Interpersonal Connection: “Encouragement happens in community”
- not giving up
++ ἐγκαταλείπω; to forsake, to neglect, to abandon, to stop
++ Matthew 27:46 (Jesus’ cry from the cross)
About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" (which means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?").
++ Hebrews 13:5 (God’s promise to not abandon us)
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
++ 2 Timothy 4:16 (Paul was deserted)
“At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me.”
- meeting together
++ ἐπισυναγωγή
++ our English word Synagogue
- as some are in the habit of doing
++ ἔθος; habit; custom; a way of doing things marked by recurring procedure
- How well connected are you to your church family?
How well are you fulfilling your calling as an encourager in your family, your church, your job, your neighborhood? You can exponentially boost your impact as an encourager if you learn this final ingredient of biblical encouragement . . .
4. Inspirational Celebration: “Celebrated achievements inspire even greater works”
- but encouraging one another
++ παρακαλέω
++ call to one’s side; summon; invite; urge; exhort; encourage
++ contrasts with ἐγκαταλείπω (to forsake, neglect, abandon)
++ Celebration seldom happens in solitude
- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
++ τὴν ἡμέραν; the day
++ The day; i.e. the return of Christ; the millennial reign of Christ; the end of human history
- How well are you framing and celebrating eternity for others?
Those who truly encourage others, inspiring them to reach their God-given potential practice this simple formula: insightful consideration + intentional stimulation + interpersonal connection + inspirational celebration = biblical encouragement!
Conclusion
If we do not respond to the call to encourage one another, there is a tragic alternate ending. That alternate ending is unveiled in Hebrews 3:13 “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.” Without encouragement, we are captives to our fears, our doubts, the Devil’s lies. Without encouragement, our future is sabotaged and shrunk. The deceitfulness of sin swallows our hopes, punctures our faith and blinds our vision. That is not God’s will for your life. He gives us the Holy Spirit and he gives us this community of encouragement called the church. If you have never invited the Holy Spirit, God’s Divine Encourager, to come into your life, why not do that right now? That’s why Jesus died and rose again so that God’s Spirit could dwell in you. Don’t live in isolation. That’s the den of discouragement. Renew your commitment to remember the Sabbath weekly and reconnect with your church family.
Benediction Blessing from Hebrews 10:24-25
May you take the time to look deeply into others’ lives to truly consider them;
May you become a catalyst for others to see eternity more clearly and live for it;
May you help others love well and do good;
May you reject the neglect of gathering with your church family weekly;
And may you celebrate the approaching reality of the imminent return of Christ!