& Exhortation

OVERVIEW. Encouragement and exhortation are two ways for us to experience the embodiment of Jesus through others in our community and families. It is a practice of both giving and receiving. Encouragement is simply building each other up, often through biblical or revealed truths. Exhortation is a clear call to faith and to expect the things of God -- sparking zeal, expectation, and passion for Jesus. When we get together with other believers, we should have hopeful expectations to encounter God through one another.
Take some time to pray. Ask the Lord to bring to mind a person to encourage. Take a moment to send them a text, voice memo, email, phone call, post card, etc. Your encouragement can be either divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit or from your own thoughts and experiences with that person. They both matter and are influenced by God. The heart of your encouragement should be to build the individual up in the truth of who God has made that person to be.  

The heart of exhortation is coming alongside someone with encouragement and spurring them on to keep going, to do the work that God is asking. In places of weakness or doubt, we can remind others of their identity and calling. Exhortation is speaking life and blessing, reminding them to take heart and believe the truth they already know.

FURTHER PRACTICE. Make a point to connect with one or two others throughout your week. This could look like inviting someone over for a meal or just meeting up for coffee. Come into this time with hopeful expectation of Jesus speaking into and through both of you during this time together. Make a point to consider who they are in Jesus, and encourage them to continue pressing on toward Jesus. 
We first practiced encouragement and exhortation as part of our Hearing God series. To learn more, feel free to check out that sermon!