God's word

2 ways to be encouraging

Acts 4:29  "And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldn  ess,"

Acts 4:29 "And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,"


The beauty of the book of Acts in the New Testament is that for the first time we see the church learning to live for Christ after Christ had ascended into Heaven. As terrifying as that may have been for them Christ commanded them, before he ascended, to go and teach all nations of what he had done.

And they did just that.

They grew in number, they gathered in fellowship as believers, and they encouraged one another daily. Persecution would soon follow, but they held fast to their belief in Christ.

So, how did they do it?

What should we do?

Be generous

In Acts 2 we read that people from all walks of life that began to follow Christ now mingled with one another like never before. Many people repented of their sins and devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, they sat down to eat with one another, and they sold their possessions and gave generously to any person that was in need.

No, I don't mean you need to sell all that you have.

However, we should seek to be generous with what we do have. Being generous for some may surely be with their treasure, but for others it might be their time. 

Be generous in giving your time to encourage others to live for Christ. As part of the church we are to gather in fellowship to exhort and build one another up, encouraging one another. 

ask god for courage

In Acts 4 we read about the growing persecution the church faces after Christ has ascended. Peter and John had just finished healing a man and teaching a crowd in Jesus' name. Because of this, the Jewish leaders came and arrested them and threatened them to stop teaching in Jesus' name. Since the Sadducees could find no fault in them Peter and John were released. Once Peter and John gathered with other believers they prayed for God to give them boldness to speak God's word. 

They could've stopped right there... but they didn't.

God is our Creator, He is our Provider, and He is our Healer.

When we are discouraged and struggling, we as believers should come together and pray for God to give us courage to speak His word. 

 

Who can you encourage this week?

What will you do to make a difference?

3 simple steps to establish your devotional life

Do you ever ask yourself  How do I start reading my Bible, or How do I start praying to God?

Do you ever ask yourself How do I start reading my Bible, or How do I start praying to God?

What makes getting into a routine so difficult? We have busy schedules that consist of work, family, and activities that we enjoy. So, where can we fit in extra time for other things? That's easy,  most of us have at least 15-30 minutes every day that we can allot to spending our time with these other things.

Yet, getting into a routine can be so difficult because it asks not how much time we give in a particular day, but how often will we seek to spend time each day and the next on devoting our time to whatever thing we are giving our time to. With as difficult as starting a routine can seem to be, starting a routine is also equally simple. 

Choose a time

What time works best for you? As I said earlier, most of us can find a 15-30 minute window in our busy lives to spend time with our Creator. One of the most crucial aspects of starting a routine is gradually building your endurance up from an easy starting point. A lot of times we can get burnt out of our devotions simply because we try to do everything all at once. Pick a time of day and start small.

I tend to have a tendency to be more awake at night and I prefer to end my day in a way that I can thank God for the things He has done that day. I've also met plenty of people who love to start their day in God's presence so that their day and their decisions throughout their day reflect their time spent with God early in the morning. And there are also others who prefer to spend their time with God in the middle of the day or during their break at work. All of these are good, but remember to choose a time that works best for you.

Choose a place where you are comfortable

Do you have a view that sticks out in your head? How about a comfortable spot you love to sit? Learning to enjoy your routine is vastly important to continuing a healthy routine. Finding that place where you can sit and focus on God is important to enjoying the routine of having your devotion with God. If you don't have a place in mind, look for one.

Read/Pray/Meditate

There isn't a real set order in how you should do these three things, but it is good to do these three things in some order. 

Read. Reading our Bible is the way that we can see what God has spoken to those in the past and how he speaks to us today. Don't just read to read, read so that you can remember what you've read. No matter if you have read 5 verses or 5 chapters. If you are having trouble finding a book to start in you can look back at one of our recent posts about where to start reading your Bible: http://www.restoreportsmouth.com/blog/?offset=1474568064263

Pray. Praying is our way to speak with God. He wants for us to have a relationship with Him and to have an ongoing conversation with Him in our Bible reading and prayer. Praying for our needs is good as well, but remember to also pray for others.

Meditate. I'm not talking about sitting on the floor Indian-style and humming chants or doing yoga. I mean that after you read and pray to reflect on the things that you've learned. Reflect on the Word of God and reflect on what He is doing in your life.

-T.I. (the intern)