Billy is a truck driver with a “No work, No Pay” contract. His company stopped operating for a month now. He is a father of three kids, and his wife is a stay at home mom. He already used all his savings to sustain the needs of his loved ones. He is thinking, "How can I provide for my family?"
Glenn is a drummer. There are no gigs for a month, and no one attends his music classes. He is a single father to a 10-year-old boy. He heard the news that the lockdown is going to be extended. "He is thinking, "What am I going to do?"
There are many stories in this pandemic. This virus has laid a heavy burden on everyone, and it became easy to complain and point fingers.
I think it is timely that we are going to talk about Romans 1:11-12 in this devotional story.
11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.
Here are my takeaways from these verses:
1. We should have a longing to encourage others (Verse 11).
Like what we talked about at the beginning of this devotional story, it is easier to complain and lay blame. However, the Bible tells us that we should focus on inspiring others:
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Before we say anything, let us pause to think if our words will encourage others. If the answer is no, then I think it would be better to keep our mouths shut.
2. We need to encourage and be encouraged (Verse 12)
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
The burden of inspiring people is heavy for one person to carry. That is why the Bible is telling us that we should not be doing this on our own. We can rely on our friends to encourage us as well.
If we are going to allow other people's words to enter our hearts, then we should be careful who we listen to. Make sure you seek counsel from a trusted source and not just anyone. One good rule to follow is to not listen to people you would not go for advice. Since we live in tough times, we should take good care of our hearts.
3. We should impart spiritual gifts to encourage others (Verse 11).
If we have no idea how to build others up, then we can share spiritual gifts. What are spiritual gifts?
1 Corinthians 12:7-11
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
Let us break this down further.
Oxford defines wisdom as "the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement.”
Our experience gives us something valuable. A lesson that made us stronger and better. If we know someone who is experiencing something that we have been through, then we could provide our insights to help them.
We should be careful not to impose our will on others. We could be in the same situation, but we are still different people. We have our own way of handling our problems.
We should pray for others to have wisdom.
Oxford defines knowledge as "facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject."
Knowledge is essential if someone wants to make an informed decision. If we have valuable information that others may need, we can give it freely.
Oxford defines faith as "complete trust or confidence in someone or something."
I will be specific, and I will say that what I am referring to is faith in God.
Everyone is powerless to do anything right now. If there is one who is truly in control of our circumstances, it is God. I encourage everyone that right now is the best time to put our faith in Him. He may not put an end to this pandemic right away, but I am sure He will fulfil His purpose for us if we put our faith in Him.
I do not think I need to define healing. I guess what I want us to do is to give a prayer of healing to those who need it.
Being an instrument for a miracle is probably a once in a lifetime experience.
A lot of people are hoping for a miracle right now, and I believe that God is not yet done in performing miracles. Let us pray for everyone who needs a miracle in their life.
Oxford defines prophecy as "a prediction of what will happen in the future."
The Bible is filled with beautiful promises from God. If we are going to prophesy to others, let us stick to the words of God in the Bible.
Instead of talking about the negative things that could happen in the future, let us talk about faith, hope, and love.
Oxford defines discernment as "the ability to judge well."
I do not want us to be the judge for others. The rule is if someone asks us for advice, then we can give it, but if not, then we should keep our thoughts to ourselves. Of course, there are exceptions.
We should pray for others to have discernment.
Speaking in Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues
I recommend that everyone speak in tongues if you have the gift, if not, then it is okay.
Let us Sum it Up
The world is experiencing a once in a century problem right now. Things are hard. We should focus on encouraging one another.
It may be difficult to speak positively nowadays, but we should aim to be a blessing to others and utilise the spiritual gifts that come from God.
Prayer of Salvation
Friend, if you want to be a blessing to others, but you are unsure of your standing in faith, say this prayer. God sees your heart, so say the words with conviction and faith.
"Father, I am a sinner. Forgive my sins. I believe that Jesus died on the cross so I could live fully on earth and in heaven. Change my heart and mind according to your will. This I pray, in the mighty Name of Jesus, amen."
Friend, if you prayed this prayer in faith, I believe you have set things right with God.
If you want to grow in faith, find a Bible-based church. You can also reach out to me through my social media platforms and this website, www.high3r.com. I would love to hear from you.
Thank you for reading this devotional story, and I pray that it encouraged and empowered you in your walk with Christ. Please read other devotional stories on the website.
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