‘Exhort one another daily.’ Hebrews 3:13 NKJV
The Greek word for ‘exhort’ is parakaleo. It comes from two words, one meaning ‘alongside of’ and the other meaning ‘to call’. This is the root of the Greek word paraclete, which is the name Jesus gave the Holy Spirit. The real ministry of the Holy Spirit is to exhort and encourage us in our walk with God. So you are never more like the Holy Spirit and never more in tune with His ministry, than when you are exhorting and encouraging others. An exhorter can turn a loser into a winner, a shirker into a worker, and a pessimist into an optimist. They inspire others with renewed courage, spirit, and hope. They have a ministry of affirmation and appreciation.
It’s important to remember the distinction between appreciation and affirmation. We appreciate what a person does, but we affirm who a person is. Now appreciation comes and goes because it’s usually related to someone’s accomplishments, but affirmation goes right to the heart of a person because it is directed at that person’s individual worth. An exhorter has the ability to make you feel good about yourself. They uplift, inspire, motivate, and make you feel better just by being around you.
The Bible says that Barnabas was an exhorter. ‘Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.’ (Acts 11:22–23 NKJV)
So the word for today is: be an exhorter.
SoulFood: 2 Sam 7:18–11:27, John 2:1–11, Ps 110, Pr 23:6–9
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright [cy]