For those of you reading this article Happy New Year and welcome to 2014!

I pray that this year will be like none you have ever experienced before and that your relationship with Christ will grow closer and closer. Please I urge you don’t set this as a new year’s resolution but rather as a goal for the year. This is not a statistic but many of us who set these new year’s resolutions rarely carry them out throughout the year, January seems to be the hurdle that we struggle with.

In my previous articles I have discussed the topic of love in different dimensions but today I want you to look at it from another angle, from the angle of encouragement. Just imagine that today is Friday, it’s been a long challenging week and things have not gone the way you wanted and then all of a sudden you receive a call or text and it uplifts your spirit – a word of encouragement. I know I can definitely testify to this.

We know that the bible tells us that in Christ we our one body, the church is one body but did you know we are a team? For a team to be successful everyone has to be in alignment, singing from the same hymn sheet. We can’t have our own agendas; Christ’s agenda of love should always come first!

The bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (English Standard Version) “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” We are to build up those around us. Encouragement is defined as the action of giving someone support, confidence or hope – it is the ACTION! Love always brings out actions. Let’s not just love with sweet words anyone can say ‘I love you’ but let’s act it out, let’s pay that brother or sister in church a surprise visit, a call or message.

I recently did a study throughout the history of the world and I observed people that had been a blessing and success within their generation, they overcame obstacles throughout life with the help of encouragement from people such as Benjamin Franklin, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Steven Spielberg and Thomas Edison to successful sports teams such as Real Madrid C.F. and the New Zealand rugby union team – the All Blacks.

The enemy loves nothing more than to discourage God’s people and as the day draws closer to the coming of the Lord, he will stop at nothing to increase his efforts especially with those who are in leadership, especially our Pastors. Sometimes we think, ‘Oh don’t worry I’m sure Pastor is OK’ but please remember our pastors are human beings and just like us they need encouragement too!

I’m not saying that we should not encourage ourselves in the Lord but let’s follow the word which we find in Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV) “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Amen.

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