Friday, 19 January 2018

Divine Exhortation

Scripture: 2 Peter 1 v 2-3:  "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue."

There are some people who uplift you into the presence of Jesus every time you encounter them. They have a ministry gift of exhortation which operates unconsciously in them through the power of the Holy Spirit.

People who are blessed with the ability to divinely exhort others are often leaders in praise and worship.  They stir up the congregation to exalt our Father and Jesus through psalms and hymns and spiritual songs as it says in Ephesians 5 v 18 - 20: "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
 19  Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
 20  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;"

I am reminded of a plumber who came to repair some pipes at my home years ago. I met him at the front door and he walked round the house to the back door while I went through the house. The Lord said This man needs the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I told this stranger what the Lord had said. Tears filled his eyes and he said I am afraid of the Holy Spirit.

Praise Jesus, I did pray with him and he did receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that day with much praise and rejoicing.  There came a day when I was under a heavy attack and really struggling. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. There stood the plumber. He said The Holy Spirit drove me here! I was on the highway when the steering wheel turned and I was exiting at your offramp!! I had to come here.

We spoke of this and that and had tea. I did not mention my heavy heart. He went away and I found that the burden had gone. The plumber had exhorted my spirit. Those were the only times I ever saw him. God used me to meet his need so that he would be equipped to meet my need when the time came.

Let Peter exhort your spirit as you read and absorb this passage of scripture. Let grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. He was equipped to exhort by first suffering such sorrow after he betrayed Jesus three times before His crucifixion.

Then he was anointed to preach the first sermon after the Holy Spirit baptism of 120 believers in the Upper Room ten days after Jesus' ascension to Heaven. He preached and exhorted and accused that crowd until they cried what must we do to be saved?  Peter told them:  Acts 2 v 38: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

And 3000 got saved that day. The same 3000 who shouted Hosanna to the King and laid palms on the path for His donkey.  The same 3000 who three days later screamed, Crucify Him! And now sorrowed for Him and needed Him to save them. Then Peter exhorted them. He lifted them up and empowered them to follow Jesus.

Acts 2 v 40 - 41: "And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
 41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."

We can all either tear down or exhort our fellow believers. Sometimes they need to first fall so that the Lord can fully lift them by His divine strength.  
Sometimes you have to rebuke first before the exhortation can do its proper work as people can be stubborn and do their own thing leaving a mess behind them. 

We need to be exhorted when our faith is being challenged and our minds become depressed.  We become distracted by the world and its woes and forget to praise the Lord for His blessings.  He gives us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

Prayer: Father God please give me this ability to consciously or unconsciously exhort and strengthen and edify the Body of Christ. Let me lift their burdens and give them Your uplifting care. Let me be as Your hand extended to bless the weary. In Jesus' name. Amen.