Wednesday, 15 May 2019

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, 
3  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;"

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.  This is seen in Jeremiah 1 v 10: "See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant."

It is necessary and vital that we plant and build in good soil.  The people we are ministering to need to have all the kingdoms of their hearts demolished, rooted out entirely, so that the power of God can fully manifest.  In our gardens we would not plant our seeds in ground that was full of stones and weeds, likewise the hearts of those in whom the treasures of God's Kingdom are stored should be clean and free.

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.  Heaviness is another way of saying depressed and miserable.  The power of praise will lift that heaviness and restore calm to the soul.

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.