A Wisdom Retreat - April 25

Chosen to Cheer

Hebrews 10:24-25

And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

A young boy waited anxiously to hear what part he would have in his 2nd grade school play. The boy had told his mother that every child in the class would be given a special part, but she didn't want to overly encourage him. She knew he probably wouldn't get a speaking part and feared that he might become discouraged. Therefore, she simply smiled and kept her worries to herself.

It was a good thing she did. The next day when her son came home from school, she was standing by the door. As he approached, he was beaming from ear to ear. "Did you get a part?" she asked, trying to mask her surprise. "Oh, yes—I did!" "Well, what part did you get?" his mother wanted to know. "You won't believe it, Mom!" he responded, "I've been chosen to cheer!"

Wow, what an attitude! I don't suppose this is the answer his mother was expecting to hear, but I'll bet she was humbled by it and very proud of her son.

Wouldn't it be terrific if we were a lot more like that little boy? Oh, how different our homes would be then . . . not to mention our churches.

What would the church be like if people came to cheer everyone else on? Sunday morning would be more like a pep rally than a funeral procession; instead of spilling out our own problems and frustrations, victories and successes, we would be quiet and listen, and encourage others.

In Hebrews 10:24-25, the apostle Paul writes with fervor, "and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."

The word for encourage in this verse is parakaleo, which means "to put courage into another, or to cheer on another." How well do you do that?

I suggest that you pick out some pom-poms! You have been chosen by God, not only for a speaking part, but also for the role of applauding and cheering others as they run their race for Christ.

Hurry! . . . there's the starting gun!

Prayer Point: Pray that God will make you a better cheerleader for His name's sake . . . that you will not only lay aside your own desire for encouragement, but you will pray for God to show you people who could use your encouragement.

Extra Refreshment: Romans 16. Notice how the entire chapter is filled with encouragement and honor to those "to whom it is due."


The Advent Event

December is one of the busiest months of the year. As Christians, we approach the Christmas season with the intention of focusing on the incarnation and making it a significant time. But it's so easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season—the parties, the decorations, the presents and the special events at church. Before we know it, the month of December has flown by, and we wonder where the time went.

One of the most significant things a family can do in December is to be intentional about finding time every day to think about the true meaning of Christmas. The Advent Event is an easy, fun and enriching family project to help focus attention on the birth of Jesus while discovering the big picture of God's plan throughout the entire Bible.

Each day in December, the family sets aside a few minutes together for this activity. There is a simple coloring craft, a story from God's Word and a motion to learn that helps children remember the timeline of Scripture. Most importantly, this resources provides a special family time that Moms and Dads can use to reconnect their families to the spiritual significance of Christmas; the birth of Jesus, our Savior.

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