Stirred Not Shaken

“I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.”

Psalm 62:1-2

There are many reasons to be part of the local church. When you recall that the church is also referred to as the bride of Christ one of the main reasons the local church exists for its members is to provide comfort to one another as we patiently await the Lord’s return. The writer to the Hebrews writes, “Exhort one another daily” in Hebrews. 3:13. That means to not only comfort but to challenge one another, and as Hebrews 10:24 exhorts us, “stir up one another to love and good deeds”. The local church is to be an encouragement to one another as we seek to live Christlike.

Are you aware that the most common word for encouragement in the Bible is “parakaleo”—“para” meaning “beside, near, with, along side,” and “kaleo” meaning “to call or summon.” A “paraclete” is someone called along side of another to counsel, encourage, help and bring comfort. This word is used to refer to the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives. When Jesus said to his disciples “I will not leave you comfortless” in John 14:18 he was saying, in effect, “I will not leave you encourage-less” or “comfort-less”. Paul referred to God as the God of encouragement (2 Corinthians 1:4). The basic word is always used for one primary purpose—to describe functions that will help Christians be built up in Christ, or to help them build up one another in Christ.

A “paraclete” then is an encourager, one who helps us when we are in trouble, when we are in a situation with which we cannot cope. This word also means “to urge on or exhort.” A person needing help may not necessarily require comfort as much as they need to be challenged. The word is used to exhort troops as they go into battle. It not only empathizes; it motivates or inspires. It not only gives comfort; it also gives courage. It strengthens hesitant soldiers as they head into battle and fearful sailors into the storm. This word is used frequently by Paul in his epistles. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, he instructs the Thessalonians, “…en­courage one another and build each other up.” Three verses later he says, we exhort you…admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak (v. 14).

Today is our chance to make a difference in the life of the church and to care for the bride of Christ. Stir up the people you come in contact with to love and good works through encouragement and comfort. In other words, find a hurt and heal it, find a need and fill it with this in mind,

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.”

Hebrews 12:28–29


Michael Osthimer




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