Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | September 19, 2014

How should we encourage and strengthen others?

Today’s devotion comes from Deuteronomy 3:23-29.

“I also pleaded with the Lord at that time, saying, ‘O Lord God, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand;  for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Yours?  Let me, I pray, cross over and see the fair land that is beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’  But the Lord was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me;  and the Lord said to me, ‘Enough! Speak to Me no more of this matter.  Go up to the top of Pisgah and lift up your eyes to the west and north and south and east, and see it with your eyes, for you shall not cross over this Jordan.  But charge Joshua and encourage him and strengthen him, for he shall go across at the head of this people, and he will give them as an inheritance the land which you will see.’  So we remained in the valley opposite Beth-peor.”  Deuteronomy 3:23-29.


How should we encourage and strengthen others?

Do we tell them how wise they are?  Do we tell them how strong they are?  Do we build up their ego?  Do we train them so they trust themselves more?

Or, do we tell them how wise God is?  Do we tell them how strong God is?  Do we build up their faith?  Do we train them so they trust God more?

Although there is generally much that Moses reminded Israel in the rest of the book of Deuteronomy, what Moses specifically said to Joshua to encourage and strengthen him is found in Deuteronomy 31:7-9.  “Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance.  The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you;  He will be with you.  He will not fail you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed.”  Deuteronomy 31:7-9.

Reformed Doctrine teaches us how wise God is.  Reformed Doctrine teaches us how strong God is.  Reformed Doctrine builds up our faith.  Reformed Doctrine trains us so that we trust God more.

But, other doctrine teaches us how wise man is.  Other doctrine teaches how strong man is.  Other doctrine builds up our ego.  Other doctrine trains us so that we trust ourselves more.

“Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;  but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24.

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