“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,
just as in fact you are doing.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)
Daily Meditation: 1 Thessalonians 5, 1 Peter 4
Growing up in Montana, I helped my mother plant a flower garden each spring. I still love the smell of soil being tilled up—rich, dark clumps of dirt that may seem rather ordinary but make a perfect canvas for dashing tulips and elegant roses.
Psalm 16:5-6 (NKJV) states, “O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance.” These verses bring me such peace. It’s as if the Lord has assigned to each of us a garden or specific “lot” of land. And inside the garden of life that he has given you, there are certain people, some of whom may be especially weary or disheartened, for whom God has given you personal responsibility.
The desire for encouragement is woven through our very being. I need it. You need it. We all need it. Our heavenly Father who designed us to desire relationships lovingly provided avenues to have those needs met. God challenges us to “encourage one another and build each other up.”
Take a minute to examine the “lot” God has given you. Do not overwhelm yourself by assuming responsibility for meeting the needs of every weary soul. Instead, choose to rest, knowing that you are only expected to encourage, nourish, and tend to those whom God has specifically assigned to you. Your husband, children, extended family, and friends may come to mind, but also ask the Lord to highlight other individuals who are in your sphere of influence. Maybe it’s another mom in the neighborhood or that co-worker two cubicles away.
My dear sister, I urge you to plant seeds of encouragement deep into the lives of others by being intentional (do it on purpose), specific (give examples), creative (make it fun), and persistent (do it often). Make someone feel special today. See what happens. You’ll never have to take it back. Some things are best when you give them away. Seeds of encouragement are like that. As Tim’s dad would always say:
“Being kind is one thing you never have to take back.”
– James E. Clinton
Be fearless: Encouraging words are twice as potent because they have a second harvest. The first harvest is in the lives of the people you impact, and the second harvest is in your own life. Today, ask our heavenly Father to equip you to help other people grow. Planting seeds of encouragement is one of the most enjoyable things we get to do. Sow those seeds!
Let’s let 2019 be the year we grow closer to the Lord and become the fearless, strong, and faithful woman we are meant to be in Him! In Be Fearless, Julie Clinton provides a scripturally-sound guide for finding freedom, purpose, joy… and fearlessness. Be Fearless is now available in our store! https://www.aacc.net/product/be-fearless/ Consider working through Be Fearless with another extraordinary woman or group this year.
Julie Clinton, MAd, MBA, is president of Extraordinary Women and host of EWomen conferences all across America. She is the author of several books including A Woman’s Path to Emotional Freedom, 10 Things You Aren’t Telling Him, and Extraordinary Women. She is passionate about seeing women live out their dreams by finding their freedom in Christ. Julie and her husband, Tim, live in Virginia with their children, Megan and Zach.