Regular Christians Who Encouraged Their Brethren

Regular Christians Who Encouraged Their BrethrenText: Hebrews 3:12-13

Christians are expected to encourage one another – not occasionally, but consistently/regularly. This is to prevent us from being hardened by sin, falling away, and developing an unbelieving heart. This can happen to any of us; therefore, we all need to be encouraging and be encouraged. Providing encouragement is something that any of us can do. In this lesson, we are going to notice some “regular Christians” who encouraged their brethren.

Barnabas (Acts 4:36-37)

  • Probably the most well-known of those we will discuss in this series – his name meant “Son of Encouragement” (Acts 4:36)
  • He provided encouragement by removing sources of discouragement – uncertainty over physical necessities (Acts 4:32-37); rejection/mistrust of a new Christian by his new brethren (Acts 9:26-27); cultural/historical divide between Jews and Gentiles that threatened unity (Acts 11:19-23); loss of trust after a prior sin/mistake (Acts 15:36-39)
  • Words of encouragement are important (Ephesians 4:29; Proverbs 25:11), but sometimes more is needed – it is one thing to sympathize, it is another to provide help; circumstances in life are often discouraging (Job 14:1; 2 Corinthians 5:4); helping in these cases is encouraging

Aquila and Priscilla (Romans 16:3-4)

  • This husband and wife encouraged Paul by providing some stability for him in his work of preaching – by risking their lives for him (Romans 16:4) and by providing a place to stay/work (Acts 18:1-4); this was not just for Paul, but many benefitted from their efforts (Romans 16:4)
  • This is like Aaron and Hur who held up Moses’ hands during a battle against Amalek (Exodus 17:8-13) – their support made the victory possible
  • We are all engaged in a spiritual battle in the cause of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) – the struggle for some is more visible than for others (preachers, elders, spouses/parents of unbelievers, etc.); we can provide help “from the sidelines” to strengthen them in their battles (3 John 7-8; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:14)

Tychicus (Colossians 4:7-8)

  • Tychicus was going to encourage the brethren in Colossae by informing them of Paul’s condition – was a traveling companion of Paul’s (Acts 20:4); he did this at other times too (Ephesians 6:21-22)
  • When Elijah was discouraged, God told him of 7,000 who were still faithful (Romans 11:3-4) – knowing that there are others who are faithfully following the Lord in other places is encouraging
  • Christians work together in autonomous congregations (1 Timothy 3:15), but autonomy does not require isolation – it is encouraging to know of others who are faithfully serving the Lord (1 Thessalonians 1:7-8); we are to follow the example of those who are faithful (Philippians 3:17); we can do this as we are made aware of who they are and what they are doing

Conclusion

  • Encouragement is something we need consistently if we want to remain faithful to the Lord
  • All of us have the ability to be an encouragement to others
  • Let us look for ways that we can be an encouragement to our brethren as we strive to reach the goal of heaven

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