Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 05-02-23

Intro: Encouragement is a blessing every human being needs to experience. That is why the spiritual gifts God has given his children are so precious; such a treasure. Some of God’s children have a wonderful and weighty gift of encouragement they joyfully share with the spiritual family. Encouragement is strengthening; it builds up and gently nudges one forward.

In the Old Testament, we find many priestly blessings of encouragement for God’s people. This was not only a spoken spiritual blessing from faith leaders, it was a provisional blessing because the people’s needs were practical. They needed food, water, health, children, protection, and security; so, a blessing was prayed over the people and, by faith, they began to look for their supernatural God to provide in some way.

The world speaks cutting, shaming, judging, criticizing words over people every day; it is anti-God. To use our words to build and strengthen the hope and trust of others in Christ—our living Lord—brings forward the love of God that unites us in Christ. We care about helping one another. Encouragement helps the weak and weary to gain strength in the Lord. Jesus was always encouraging his followers by nudging them forward toward greater transformation in their lives. In Christ, may we be encouragers of one another.

In our passage today, the writer of Hebrews shares a priestly blessing to encourage believers to stay focused on their relationship with God and his involvement and favor operating in their lives. Our Good Shepherd not only laid down his life for us, he continues to provide out of concern for us as his family; those who do the will of the Father. Our needs matter to the Lord. He has promised to provide strength and equip us to share his goodness with others in spiritual, as well as practical ways.

Hebrews 13:20-21 NLT
Now may the God of peace—
who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus,
the great Shepherd of the sheep,
and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—
may he equip you with all you need
for doing his will.
May he produce in you,
through the power of Jesus Christ,
every good thing that is pleasing to him.
All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.

Prayer: (Num 6:22-26) May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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