Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Exhorting the Brethren

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.

Musicians, and especially lead singers, export us into praise and worship, uplifting us through those worship songs into the presence of the Almighty.  We feel the anointing of God upon us and our senses are elevated to receive the Word being preached and allowing that Word to change us into the likeness of Jesus.

Let Peter exhort our spirits as we read and absorb this passage of scripture. Let grace and peace be multiplied to us through the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. Peter was equipped to exhort by first suffering such sorrow after he betrayed Jesus three times before His crucifixion.  He felt so ashamed and unworthy.  Most of us have felt like this at times.

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 as He entered Jerusalem for the first time.  The same 3000 who three days later screamed, Crucify Him! Save Barrabas instead!  

And the same crowd now sorrowed for Him and needed Him to save them. Verse 40 says that Peter exhorted them. He lifted them up and empowered them to follow Jesus.

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 love and 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. 

To exhort really means to encourage to excel.  We do it for our children swimming in galas or studying for exams, egging them on to swim faster or get better grades.  Jesus uses Christians who are able to exhort us to bring out the best in us.

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.