137. Encouragement

Note from The Storyteller:  If you have not read entries 1-136, do so.  There is much insight that will help you as you walk toward spiritual maturity.  All of the entries can be found at the following website:  https://www.waiting4thetrain.com/.  Also, feel free to forward this email to everyone you think would be interested in reading this blog.

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“I’m sure,” Stan began, “that you have heard the joke about how do you tell if politicians are lying.”

“If their lips are moving,” I said with a smile.

“Different question,” Stan said.  “How do you tell if someone needs encouragement?”

“That’s a harder question,” I replied.

“If they are breathing,” Stan said.

“Everyone needs encouragement.”

“I certainly know that I do, every single day.”

“Well, Stan,” I said, “I certainly want to encourage you by letting you know how much I appreciate the time you spend with me.”

“Thanks, my friend,” Stan replied.  “I do appreciate that, but I also know that it is real important that I seek the right source for encouragement.”

“The world, the flesh, and the devil are a constant source of encouragement intended to take me in the wrong direction.”

“It is real easy for me to get off track in this, so I focus on the encouragement God has for me through His word, His voice, and through those He sends to encourage me.”

“How do you focus on that?” I asked.

“By getting self out of the way so God has a clear path to do what He wants!”

“Getting rid of the self-pity of ‘poor me,’ and allowing Him to fill me with His meaningful encouragement.”

Continuing, he said, “It is also essential for me to be open to God’s will in being used as an encourager to encourage those He brings before me.”

“If I only want to be encouraged without offering encouragement to others, it is just another step in the direction of self-focus.  And you know the need to deny self.”

We were finished with our breakfast and the server began to clear the dishes off the table.  Stan said to her,  “You sure do a great job.  We really appreciate you.”

She responded with a big smile, and said, “Thanks Stan.  I needed that!”

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These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation, but be encouraged; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33.

Prayer:  Thank you, Lord, that you are the source of all of the encouragement I need.  I thank you that you provide that encouragement though your word, through your voice, and through the people you send into my life.  Please help me to focus on you and on your encouragement, and not on the encouragement from the world, the flesh, and the devil that is really discouragement from being who and doing what you intend.  And, Lord, please help me in being the source of encouragement to the people you bring before me, just as they need.  Thank you that I can and do come before you with these prayers in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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