Tag Archives: encourage

Thank God

Saying thank you is such a simple thing to do, but so meaningful.  It shows a real appreciation of something or someone. Without it someone can feel insignificant, as if their gifts don’t matter.  With it they can walk taller and feel like they’ve made a difference.

Colossians 1:1-14

From Paul, chosen by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from Timothy, who is also a follower.

To God’s people who live in Colossae and are faithful followers of Christ.

I pray that God our Father will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!

A Prayer of Thanks

Each time we pray for you, we thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have heard of your faith in Christ and of your love for all of God’s people, because what you hope for is kept safe for you in heaven. You first heard about this hope when you believed the true message, which is the good news.

The good news is spreading all over the world with great success. It has spread in that same way among you, ever since the first day you learned the truth about God’s wonderful kindness from our good friend Epaphras. He works together with us for Christ and is a faithful worker for you. He is also the one who told us about the love that God’s Spirit has given you.

The Person and Work of Christ

We have not stopped praying for you since the first day we heard about you. In fact, we always pray that God will show you everything he wants you to do and that you may have all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives. 10 Then you will live a life that honors the Lord, and you will always please him by doing good deeds. You will come to know God even better. 11 His glorious power will make you patient and strong enough to endure anything, and you will be truly happy.

12 I pray that you will be grateful to God for letting you have part in what he has promised his people in the kingdom of light. 13 God rescued us from the dark power of Satan and brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who forgives our sins and sets us free.

Here Paul tells the Colossians that he thanks God for them.  What an encouragement to them.  He thanks God because of their faith and their love.

I wonder how often we thank God for other people.  And if we tell them about it and why?

It can be easy to feel we are plodding along and no one is noticing or appreciating what we are doing.  How helpful it is to know that it is appreciated – not because we need thanks, but because sometimes we need encouragement.

But Paul doesn’t just give thanks for them, he continues to pray for them:

that they will continue to know what God is asking of them, that they will honour him and come to know God better.  That they will know his patience and strength.

Paul wants them to know the depths of God’s life and prays for what they need to fulfil it.

So, do we notice our fellow Christians?  What they are doing, what support and encouragement they need? Do we pray for them?  For their need, their faith?  Today, now, take some time.  Think through those you know.  The blessing that they are, the struggles you know they have, the places their lives take them, their faith – and lets pray for one another.  And perhaps we might like to tell them we’ve done so – to encourage and bless them.

I thank you for those I know
who encourage me,
enrich my life,
show me more of you
and your ways.

I pray for them.
May you strengthen them,
enrich them,
empower them
in their walk with you.


Passing on the Mantle

It is not always easy to let someone else have a go at something – especially if you are a control freak (who me?!?)

We worry that they may not do things just so, or maybe we worry that they may be better than us, and we won’t have a role left.

But there is a time to pass work on, to let someone else use their gifts and talents, for us to allow God to use them.

1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21

15 The Lord said, “Return to the wilderness near Damascus, then enter the city and anoint Hazael as king of Syria; 16 anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 

The Call of Elisha

19 Elijah left and found Elisha plowing with a team of oxen; there were eleven teams ahead of him, and he was plowing with the last one. Elijah took off his cloak and put it on Elisha. 20 Elisha then left his oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Let me kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you.”

Elijah answered, “All right, go back. I’m not stopping you!”

21 Then Elisha went to his team of oxen, killed them, and cooked the meat, using the yoke as fuel for the fire. He gave the meat to the people, and they ate it. Then he went and followed Elijah as his helper.

Elisha is anointed to succeed Elijah as prophet.   Elijah puts his cloak on Elisha – the mantle is passed on.  With the mantle comes the authority.

I wonder how Elijah felt about this passing on.  He had been God’s prophet.  That was his role.  And now he is being asked to let go and allow someone else to take it up.

The Methodist Church has a “six year rule”.  The longest anyone should do any role is six years.  That at least gives others a chance to have a go.  No one has a stranglehold over any one position in the church.

So, what does this account of Elijah passing on the mantle to Elisha have to say to us?

Well to me it is a reminder that “I” am not the only person that can do any particular role.  There are others who are more than capable, indeed called by God, and they should be allowed, equipped and encouraged to take their turn.

It also raises the question of what we are doing to encourage others to have a go, to take their turn – and what we are doing to equip them.

Is there something I have been clinging on to, that perhaps I ought to let someone else have a go at?  Is there someone I should be helping and encouraging to take a role up?

Thank you Lord
that each of us has something to contribute,
that we all have gifts to share.
Help us to encourage
and equip one another,
to allow others to “have a go”,
even if we were quite enjoying doing that ourselves.

may I not be afraid to let go,
but enable others to us their gifts
for you