Day 24 – Encourage on another and build each other up
Start you day with this prayer
Thank you, Lord, for opportunities to see the beauty in the world.
Thank you for the good things in our lives.
Give us the eyes
and hearts to see these things, to celebrate them and
to share them with others.
Use this symbol to lead you in prayer for the day.
Lord, we pray for your wisdom and guidance in how we manage our finances.
Show us where and how we can share what we have with those who have less than we do. Amen.
Read this reflection on the text for the day.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing – 1 Thessalonians 5:11.
It is easy to feel discouraged in today’s world. Crime, poverty, corruption and the destruction of nature are in the news every day. That is probably why depression has become the illness of our time and why complaining is our favourite way of communication with one another. Wherever we look we can see signs of decay and sin. The danger, however, is that we start enjoying the decay of our world.
According to Paul, as members of God’s family, we should not rejoice in what is bad, but hold on to what is good (Rom 12:9). We should not intentionally discourage each other, but should rather be encouraging one another with the hope that God will renew this world. Because we know that God has not abandoned the creation, or us, we should not join the complaining and moaning. We should rather remind one another that God will save the creation from all sin and decay with the second coming of Christ. Therefore, we should already be living with this knowledge by caring for one another and the world.
Father, thank you that You will not abandon us or the world, but that You will renew us with your Word and Spirit. We are looking forward to your second coming when You will make everything new and when there will be no more pain and decay. May this hope give us the strength daily to live according to your will. Amen.
Liturgy for life
See the ordinary things you do in and around the house as signs of God’s care.
Obviously I’m listening …
I really do not like the word “obviously”. It is the kind of word that will cause me to stop listening and start wrestling in my thoughts about what the person really means or is trying to say. Why? Because it is the kind of word that can be used as a weapon to say you have not been listening to them. An example? “Carl and I obviously had to go to the hospital on Thursday …” The word obviously is used to make it plain that this information was already given to you and that you either forgot or simply did not listen.
I really do want to listen, but most of us surely have these trigger words that cause us not to hear each other. I want to be someone who hears when other people say something that worries them or fills them with joy. Unfortunately all of us listen with a filter. The person’s attitude or use of language can cause us not to really hear them.
A question you can ask yourself and each other today is: How should I talk so that you really want to/can hear me? In other words, what are the words or tone of voice I should not use so that I will have a better chance of being heard? This will obviously be good for our households, or what do you think?
Play with your children.
Wow! 21 Days of isolation. 21 Days in which we’re only allowed to be in our homes (or gardens) and can only go out for the most essential things like food and medicine. It can be a little rough! All the things we usually do during the day, like school, sport, church … are not happening anymore. It can really confuse you and maybe even bore you a little. These daily readings will help you to spend some time with Jesus every day in a creative and fun way. You can do these readings and activities by yourself, with your siblings, or with your entire family. Ask one of the grownups to post your activity on Facebook so that others can enjoy it with you. Tag it with #solitudecalendar #churchtogether
It is not nice at all to feel discouraged. Everything is bad and it feels as though nothing is working out. All that is needed sometimes is that someone will encourage you to keep on trying. Our task as believers is to encourage each other when things become difficult.
What helps you when you feel discouraged?
What is a good word to use when you want to encourage people?
Think of a creed or rhyme, like those you sing at the school athletics, that can encourage other people.
Make a poster with these words of 1 Thessalonians 5:11 on it: “Encourage one another and build each other up.”
Look at today’s illustration. What stands out to you? Talk to the people in your home or with your friends on WhatsApp about the illustration.
– Take note of the things you see, but also of the things that aren’t present in the picture that you would like to add. What are those things?
– How does this illustration connect with today’s Scripture, and how not?
– Create your own interpretation of the illustration through any medium: dance, photography, videography, music, poetry, drawing, painting or short stories.
Record it and share it with us on social media with the hashtag #countdowndoodles
Thank you’s and testimonies
Share your testimony with us! Use the online form below.
I enjoy the message every day so much – food for the soul. Thank you! You will need to continue after the lockdown with morning messages, please.
– Hannelie Keogh
I am excited like a child about every day’s message and I am strengthened and encouraged every day. Thank you to all the contributors. This is very special.
– Mariëtte Biermann
Bedtime story by storyteller Ewald van Rensburg