Evening, September 14
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Bible League: Living His Word
If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging.

The Apostle Paul warned the members of the church at Rome and, by extension, all members of the church at large not to "think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us" (Romans 12:3). He goes on to say that part of honestly evaluating ourselves is to discern which of the special gifts of the Holy Spirit we have been given. We should specialize in the gifts we have actually been given and not proudly think we can specialize in every area.

Paul then goes on to list a number of specific gifts of the Holy Spirit such as prophecy, serving, teaching, etc. (Romans 12:6-8). The list is not meant to be an exhaustive list of every gift. It is just a list of examples. Further, the list is not meant to suggest that each Christian has only one gift on the list. Any number of gifts and combination of gifts is possible. Further yet, the list is not meant to suggest that members should never operate in gift areas outside of any special areas of gifting they have. It is merely meant to be a list of gifts that members specialize in.

One of the specific gifts on Paul's list is the gift mentioned in our verse for today � the gift of encouragement. No doubt every Christian should be encouraging on occasion, but some members of the church specialize in encouragement. It is something that they have been gifted to do very well. The word refers to someone who specializes in urging, exhorting, and inspiring other members to continue in the faith, grow in the faith, and take up whatever special gifting they have been given.

Interestingly enough, Paul's list of gift examples is actually a manifestation of the gift of encouragement. He does not merely list the examples. Rather, he encourages those who have the gifts listed to operate in them. Hence, our verse for today says that encouragers should "be encouraging." They should do what they have been gifted to do. They should operate in the area of encouragement for the benefit of the church.

The gift of encouragement is an important gift. Encouragers lift other members of the church up from despair, they build other members up, and they inspire them to operate in their gift areas and launch their ministries.

Bible in a Year
Old Testament Reading
Proverbs 25, 26, 27


Proverbs 25 -- It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the glory of kings is to search out

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Proverbs 26 -- Like snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.

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Proverbs 27 -- Don't boast about tomorrow; for you don't know what a day may bring forth.

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New Testament Reading
2 Corinthians 6


2 Corinthians 6 -- Paul's Sufferings; Do Not be Unequally Yoked

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Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God's condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.
Insight
The love that caused Christ to die is the same love that sends the Holy Spirit to live in us and guide us every day. The power that raised Christ from the dead is the same power that saved you and is available to you in your daily life.
Challenge
Be assured that, having begun a life with Christ, you have a reserve of power and love to call on each day, for help to meet every challenge or trial. You can pray for God's power and love as you need it.
Morning and Evening by Spurgeon
Psalm 32:5  I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.

David's grief for sin was bitter. Its effects were visible upon his outward frame: "his bones waxed old;" "his moisture was turned into the drought of summer." No remedy could he find, until he made a full confession before the throne of the heavenly grace. He tells us that for a time he kept silence, and his heart became more and more filled with grief: like a mountain tarn whose outlet is blocked up, his soul was swollen with torrents of sorrow. He fashioned excuses; he endeavoured to divert his thoughts, but it was all to no purpose; like a festering sore his anguish gathered, and as he would not use the lancet of confession, his spirit was full of torment, and knew no rest. At last it came to this, that he must return unto his God in humble penitence, or die outright; so he hastened to the mercy-seat, and there unrolled the volume of his iniquities before the all-seeing One, acknowledging all the evil of his ways in language such as you read in the fifty-first and other penitential Psalms. Having done this, a work so simple and yet so difficult to pride, he received at once the token of divine forgiveness; the bones which had been broken were made to rejoice, and he came forth from his closet to sing the blessedness of the man whose transgression is forgiven. See the value of a grace-wrought confession of sin! It is to be prized above all price, for in every case where there is a genuine, gracious confession, mercy is freely given, not because the repentance and confession deserve mercy, but for Christ's sake. Blessed be God, there is always healing for the broken heart; the fountain is ever flowing to cleanse us from our sins. Truly, O Lord, thou art a God "ready to pardon!" Therefore will we acknowledge our iniquities.

Daily Light on the Daily Path
1 Corinthians 1:9  God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

2 Peter 1:17  For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased "--

1 John 3:1  See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

Ephesians 5:1  Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;

Romans 8:17  and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

Hebrews 1:3  And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Matthew 5:16  "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Hebrews 12:2  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

John 17:13  "But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.

2 Corinthians 1:5  For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit http://www.lockman.org.

Morning September 14
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