The word “exhorting” is a powerful little word! It’s the Greek word parakaleo, a compound of the words para and kaleo. Para means alongside and kaleo means to call, to beckon, or to speak to someone. When these two words are compounded together, it depicts someone who is right alongside of a person, urging him, beseeching him, begging him to make some kind of correct decision.
In the ancient Greek world, this word was often used by military leaders before they sent their troops into battle. Rather than hide from the painful reality of war, the leaders would summon their troops together and speak straightforwardly with them about the potential dangers of the battlefield. The leaders would also tell their troops about the glories of winning a major victory.
Rather than ignore the clear-cut dangers of battle, these officers came right alongside their troops and urged, exhorted, beseeched, begged, and pleaded with them to stand tall; throw their shoulders back; look the enemy straight on, eyeball to eyeball; and face their battles bravely.
Walking by faith and doing the will of God sometimes places us in the midst of spiritual battles. Sometimes these battles aren’t won quickly.
If you know someone who is discouraged because his fight isn’t won yet, speak to that person truthfully and in a straightforward manner the way a commanding officer would speak to his troops. Remind the person of others who have stood the test of time and won their battles. And be sure to remind him of the sweetness of victory when the battle is over. He needs to hear a passionate, heartfelt word of exhortation from you!
The word “exhort” in Hebrews 10:25 could mean:
“When you’re feeling down and out—like a failure who is falling behind everyone else—that isn’t the time for you to stay away from other believers, as some are in the habit of doing. That is the very time that you need to come together for the sake of encouragement so you can face your battles more bravely….”
Do you know people who need some encouragement today? Instead of letting the day slip by before you know it, why not take the time right now to call those individuals and encourage them? If you can’t call them, how about writing them a note that will help them focus on victory?
Think back to all those moments in your own life when someone came alongside of you to encourage you. Didn’t it make a big difference in your life? Now it’s your turn to return this blessing to someone else.
So determine today to be a real comrade in the Lord to another Christian soldier. Make it your aim to speak words of encouragement to those around you today. If you see someone who is discouraged, or if you know someone who has been struggling in his or her faith, go out of your way to encourage the troops!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, today I want to be used by You to encourage someone! I ask You to lead me to those You want me to encourage. Show me what to say, how much to say, and when to say it. Teach me to recognize the needs in other people and not to focus only on my own needs.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I am going to be a major blessing in someone’s life today. The Holy Spirit is going to open my eyes and show me exactly whom I am supposed to encourage. With the help of the Spirit, I will speak the right words at the right time, and I will say only as much as I need to say. When this day concludes, someone will thank God for the way I stepped into his or her life to be a source of encouragement!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Have you been so focused on your own challenges that you’ve failed to recognize the needs of others who are around you?
- Can you think of some people in your life who need encouragement and extra strength today?
- Can you make a list of practical ways you can reach out to encourage these individuals and let them know you are thinking of them today?