Lift Up Part 2 Love, Faith, Hope & Prayer by Crossing Barriers Ministry

How many of you remember our challenge from last week’s message.  Just as a reminder, I challenge you all to reach out and lift someone up that needed encouragement or support.  This could have been by praying for them, listening to them, or assisting with physical needs.  If you met the challenge, you started to make the world a better place and God is pleased.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

Last week we started a three-part series entitled Lift Up based on offering encouragement. We started the series off with a story about Johnny. Although details have been changed, the story is true a hundred times over. In short, Johnny lost his life that he knew and was now unhoused.  We ended this story last week where an outreach worker showed some support and that gave encouragement to Johnny.  Let’s see where Johnny’s story goes today.

As we get into our scripture for today, we pick up where Paul continues his discussion of the Lord’s return but now turns to another question that the Thessalonians had raised which was the timing. Paul dismisses the need for speculation.  Instead, he urges believers to be alert and self-controlled as they live in expectation of the day of the Lord.

To get to our verse for today, we need to build up to it. We need the spiritual armor, or the three Christian graces, faith, love, and hope.

Faith; if we believe that the eye of God is always upon us, that there is another world to prepare for, we shall see reason to watch and be sober.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The whole chapter 11 of Hebrews is dedicated to the character of faith.  It draws examples from the Old Testament and applies them too today. Faith is determined by hope in God’s promises.

True and fervent love to God, and the things of God, will keep us watchful and sober.

1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

Although love is an essential attribute of God, John is not making an abstract statement about God’s character. John’s point is that God can be known only through His demonstration of His love, most profoundly seen in sending His Son in the flesh as a sacrifice for humanity.

If we have hope of salvation, let us take heed of anything that would shake our trust in the Lord. We have ground on which to build unshaken hope, when we consider, that salvation is by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, to atone for our sins and to ransom our souls.

Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Through the presence of the Holy Spirit, every believer experience God’s love and therefore can have hope despite sufferings.

This brings us to our scripture for today.  We should join in prayer and praise one with another. We should set a good example one before another, and this is the best means to answer the end of society. Thus, we shall learn how to live to Him, with whom we hope to live forever.

Translated to our situation with Johnny or anyone for that matter, to be encouraging, we need to be doing what our weekly scripture says which is fishing for people for God’s Kingdom.  We can do that by starting to show the three Christian graces, faith, love & hope.  We are not saying and go spread God’s word on Johnny but to show some faith in him, show him some love which not only leads to hope but also brings him closer to God.

Finally, we need to pray with Johnny and his needs.  We need to pray for Johnny.  We need to get others to pray for Johnny.

As we leave here today, this week’s challenge is to find someone who needs encouragement.  Your challenge is to instill the three Christian graces and start a prayer program for that person.

Pray with someone. Pray for someone and their needs. Have others pray for someone. God will be pleased.

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