Today’s devotion is an excerpt from a Bible Study Series taught at Fellowship Baptist Church, titled “Biblical Building Blocks for Strengthening Relationships.”
Biblical Building Block #17 Edify One Another (I Thessalonians 5:11) Part 1
I Thessalonians 5:11, Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
Satan's most effective weapon for defeating Christians is not some gross sin; it is discouragement. At times all of us need to be built up both emotionally and spiritually because our fallen world continually tries to drag us down. We are to build each other up emotionally and spiritually. The best place to do this is at church in Bible study and worship services.
The word edify means “to strengthen, to construct, build each other up”. God wants us to encourage one another because it makes us like Him. II Corinthians 1:3, Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. The words comfort and edify speak of a binding obligation that is continuous. This is to be the habitual pattern of our lives. We never reach a time when we can stop comforting and edifying each other. The word “build up” comes from the world “architecture”. It speaks of a housebuilder; one who constructs or erects. Here it speaks of building up in the faith or to cause to advance in Jesus Christ. The precept is to build up or strengthen fellow believers.
We as Christians have a mission to help one another to grow and become all that God wants us to be. Our goal as Christians should not be to tear others down, but to build them up. To build up implies the need for continual growth in the things of God. Paul combines the idea of using our words to build up others in. Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
Both Paul and Peter were well aware that there were those who were weak in their faith. (I Corinthians 3:1: I Peter 2:2). There would be those who were babes in Christ or wouldn’t embrace truth as they should. This is an exhortation for the strong to edify the weak. Paul wanted them to maintain their commitment to each other. We, too, need to be reminded and challenged in that regard. The strong need to encourage the weak. We need a steadfast commitment to encourage and edify one another.
God continually sends people across our paths who need encouragement. That's why Hebrews 3:13a tells us how often we are to exhort, or encourage, one another. Hebrews 3:13, “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Every day we should be looking for someone to encourage. They are there if we are paying attention. Every day we should try to encourage at least one person with a phone call, a handwritten note, or a kind word.
On a regular basis, everyone needs a cheerleader or someone to encourage them. My best encourager is my wife, Joy. She knows when I’m down and how to build me up. Several years ago, I attempted to try and climb a rock wall. I don’t have a bucket list, but if I did have one, I suppose climbing a rock wall would be on it. I had been wanting to do this for many years. After I put on my harness and began climbing, it was just a few minutes and I was struggling. Both of my wrists were in pain. I felt like quitting, but I didn’t want to give up so easily. I could not go any further, as if I was frozen. Joy saw that I was struggling. At that point I said, “I can’t”. She quickly responded with assurance in her voice, “Yes you can”. At that point I began climbing and continued without any hesitation. When I made it to the top, I turned and looked down towards her. With one hand on the rock and the other held high above my head in the air, Joy took a picture. I must say for the 22 years of marriage, this has been Joy’s role. She has never hindered anything I felt the Lord would have us to do. She has always encouraged me to follow the Lord in the ministry.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, thank You for putting people in my life to encourage me. I thank You for Your Son, Your Spirit, my sweetheart, and sweet church family. In Jesus Name, AMEN!
Thank you for reading PART 1 of Biblical Building Block #17 of this series. Please visit this website tomorrow for PART 2 of Biblical Building Block #17 of this series.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.