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Monday, December 31, 2012
Encouragement for the Holidays

by Scott Smith

The Holidays are here in full swing.  Classes are coming to a close and Christmas is right around the corner.  This time of year seems to make us all reminiscent of past Holidays enjoyed, as well as the many blessings we have received over the years.  Christmas is the Season of love, thanksgiving, friendship and generosity.  We celebrate our hope in Christ, as Jesus came to earth to give His life so that we could be with Him forever.  We also celebrate the love we share in Christ for one another and the hope He has given us.  

For many, the Holidays can be a difficult season, with some facing discouragement and sadness.  The Apostle Paul, perhaps the most well-known missionary of the Christian faith recorded in history, occasionally found himself in times of discouragement and sorrow.  In 2 Corinthians (chapter 7), we see Paul reaching the end of his emotional rope.  He was suppressed, tired and in pain.  His conflict was overwhelming, but God brought Titus and others to offer encouragement to Paul.  This encouragement turned it all around for him, so much that he went from feeling suppressed to being filled with joy.

This year, I want to encourage all of us to encourage.  You may have to read that line again, because I used the same word twice-on purpose.  This blog is meant to encourage all of us to share love and spread joy, hope, friendship and generosity this Christmas.  I believe if we all do this, we will see a ripple effect this Christmas season that will impact the lives of others.

Jesus tells His disciples in the Gospel of John to love on another.  In fact, He goes on to tell them others will know they are His disciples by their love for one another (John 13:34-35).  Love came down when Christ came to earth, and we are called to give that Love away.  So, how do we share this with others this Christmas?  Encouragement.

Remember the ripple-effect idea?  Titus’ encouragement to Paul came in the form of recounting his own encouragement and support he received from others.  The impact potential found in acts of generosity and encouragement is profound. 

Encouragement is generosity of spirit.  Think about it – most of us (if not all of us) have been on both sides of the encouragement coin.  In both cases, we recognize that encouragement requires giving.  If we follow the trail, we discover that giving is a product of generosity.  Generosity tends to foster encouragement, and this is a profound ministry to others.

So, let us all give love away this year for Christmas.  Encourage others with kindness, generosity and support.  You never know, it may be the very turning point in the life of someone you love.  Merry Christmas LUO!

Posted by Gregory Hartnett at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)