The Encourager

735168_536752233001975_238545497_n “And let us consider how we may stimulate one another on toward love and good deeds” Hebrews 10:24
     What makes for a great action movie? Or love story? The hero/lover being passive, indifferent, taking no action toward the loved one to be rescued or pursued??? What would we think of our rescuer/pursuer if they did not pursue with their full energy? If they only would try to rescue and save when they felt like it, or had a good day?? What kind of romantic movie would it be if the lover never made the effort to win the other’s heart???? Yet we are here.. The church, body of Christ, has been called to be a pursuer, a lover, a rescuer and we have found ourselves lethargic, passive, and not that much in love with what Christ has died for.. We see glimpses of a hero/lover, on special occasions, someone going out of the way for the poor and broken, someone giving their lives away on a daily bases to those who are in need of love.. In need of Rescuing.. And then we stand in awe of their effort, and sacrifice.

Let me “Encourage” you, motivate you to “good deeds”.. The word Encourage is defined as follows..

532119_642980315728723_1409080751_nEncourage:
1: to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope: to give courage
2: to attempt to persuade: urge
3: to spur on: stimulate
4: to give help or patronage to: foster
5: To: Enliven, Fortify, Reinforce, strengthen, assure, reassure, boost, energize, excite, provoke, quicken, rally, to stir-up..

We are to, “encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today.’” (Hebrews 3:13) We are called to, “encourage each other and build each other up,” (1 Thessalonians 5:11), but I don’t think we do. Oh, maybe once and awhile if we feel encouraged ourselves. If we have had a good day, maybe, if everything has gone right we might be in a good enough mood to lift someone up.. But this is not how we are to live. “Let us consider how we may stimulate, (“build up,” to “evoke”, “provoke,” “to urge”,) one another on toward love and Good Deeds”. Hebrews 10:24 Our actions, deeds, and words need to be that of continual inspiration to those around us.  We are to be Encouragers! Life Givers!
This is what God did in creation.. He spoke, and it was “good.”  “Let there be.. and there was.” He spoke life.. Words.. He breathed into Adam the “breath of life.” He, “energized,522667_447744698569396_1292379879_n excited, provoked to life, quickened,  stirred-up,” what he knew Adam was to be, or was going to be, what he was created for. So now we are to do the same with those around us. We are to speak life, to impart, to quicken, energize those we come in contact with, “especially those of the house hold of faith.”  Jesus said, “The words I speak they are Spirit and they are Life.” When you get through talking, or being around others do they leave with a new sense of energy? Did you impart life? Did you breathe the breath of life on them? Are they motivated to go forth and be all they were meant to be?
Even now, I hope you are “stirred up,” “provoked,” maybe even challenged to do this wherever you go. My prayer, “let me consider how I may stimulate you on towards love and good deeds.”  This just isn’t going to happen thought. This will take time.. It will take practice and effort.. This doesn’t come naturally. If it did we would be surrounded by greatness all the time. But this world beats us down, discourages us, keeps us from speaking Life.  We know we should do this, but we have not practiced it to make it a habit. This hasn’t become our nature, and in fact usually we become right the opposite. So let us become Excellent in this, “encouraging one another daily, as long as it is called “Today.” (Hebrews 3:13)

Aristotle said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a Habit.215150_524848027525729_1982405851_n

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “Knowing is not enough; we must Apply. Willing is not enough; we must Do.”

Let us consider how we may “Stimulate”, “Encourage”, “Build up,” “Inspire”, “Provoke,” “Spur on,” “Quicken,” and “Urge” one another on toward love and good deedsHebrews 10:24

 

pics by Blake Hannah, you can follow him on facebook, www.facebook.com/blakehannah42?fref=ts

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Another Realm

580022_555124527852996_481765034_n  Ever seen The Matrix?? Even though its not a “Christian” movie, there are some very powerful truths to be drawn from it.  What I really like about it is when Morpheus, who is free from the world and it’s system is trying to rescue others and is trying to open their minds to the truth of the world.. The person he is talking to is Neo, the chosen one who would help bring an end to the world’s system, the Matrix.

“It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. … That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison for your mind.”

“I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.”

“Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream, Neo? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?”

We have stumbled across something that rings true, yet we cannot put our fingers on it.  Our minds wrestle with the idea of something else out there. Something more than what we see. Morpheus tells Neo, “Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.”

   We all feel it don’t we? We have to ask the question, is this all there is? Even as a little kid I had 188448_557413880957394_861815597_nthis question. But we have pushed it aside as childish, or non-scientific. We are older now. Smarter. We don’t need to concern ourselves with this.
    I am older, hopefully wiser, but I pray that I am more mystical than I am logical, more Spiritual than emotional. Even now “Deep calls out to the deep,” and in my soul there is a cry for something more than mere touch, feel, see, and hear. There is a hunger for something more real than the clothes I wear. A thing to give purpose outside of reality, to give meaning beyond what science or this world offers. “There is something wrong with the world.. like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.”

The earth knows it, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” (Romans 8:22)  There is something more. We are created for another life. Another World! We have just lost our way. “It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.” Morpheus said.

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:4 “The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ.”

72348_554174377948011_1465244353_n    There is another world, parallel to ours, or one that can crossover and invade our world at any time. One that we have access to if we “have eyes to see, and ears to hear.”
   Romans 8 tells us of this world, “5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on the flesh; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on things of the spirit.. 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.”
   We are in the “Realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.” There is a realm, a place, another that we have to adapt to. Learn to move in. Grow in. This is what this world has blinded us to.  “The god of this world has blinded the minds.. so that they cannot see..”  See what? That there is something different, something to be set free from. Something to be set free in.. What is this realm? How do we access it?

Morpheus said, “I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.”
Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  They will come in and go out.” (John 10)

This door, we can “come in and go out,” meaning we have access into something more. Something that is being hidden from us.. something we need to be set free from, to come in and out 604157_580185328658665_1356007185_nof.. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36) “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

So we know we need to be set free from something, but what are we to be set free in? This “realm of the Spirit.” What is it? Where is it? Whose in it? What does it offer us??
This is where we meet Earth with Heaven. This is where we come in contact with the divine and meet those who have gone before us. This is a new thing.  “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) We are set free to come in, into a place that, “we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses.” We enter into a new realm.. “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:16)

There is a place. A Realm.. we can come in and out of that we can “find help in time of need,” where we are “surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses,”. This realm is real. We have just been blinded by the world. The door has been locked, but the key is made available to unlock it.   “And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19)

155012_580185335325331_1918905347_n    See, “it is no longer I who live but Christ that lives in me,” and since it’s no longer I who live, but Christ that means I am in a new realm where Christ dwells.. “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, ”(Ephesians 2:6) Here in this realm we are given access to “everything pertaining to life and godliness.” (1 Peter 1:3) Jesus tells His disciples,” All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth,” and “I have given them the glory that you gave me.”
    We have been held captive way too long. The time has come that 18 the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.”

    “ I am trying to free your mind.” I am trying to show you the Gate. The Door, “but you are the one that has to walk thru it.” 
      “Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.”

  All pictures came from a friend, check him out on facebook www.facebook.com/hannahimagephotography also Craig Curlee Photography