Morning, 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
Mark 4:36  There were also with him other little ships.

Jesus was the Lord High Admiral of the sea that night, and his presence preserved the whole convoy. It is well to sail with Jesus, even though it be in a little ship. When we sail in Christ's company, we may not make sure of fair weather, for great storms may toss the vessel which carries the Lord himself, and we must not expect to find the sea less boisterous around our little boat. If we go with Jesus we must be content to fare as he fares; and when the waves are rough to him, they will be rough to us. It is by tempest and tossing that we shall come to land, as he did before us.

When the storm swept over Galilee's dark lake all faces gathered blackness, and all hearts dreaded shipwreck. When all creature help was useless, the slumbering Saviour arose, and with a word, transformed the riot of the tempest into the deep quiet of a calm; then were the little vessels at rest, as well as that which carried the Lord. Jesus is the star of the sea; and though there be sorrow upon the sea, when Jesus is on it there is joy too. May our hearts make Jesus their anchor, their rudder, their lighthouse, their life-boat, and their harbor. His Church is the Admiral's flagship, let us attend her movements, and cheer her officers with our presence. He himself is the great attraction; let us follow ever in his wake, mark his signals, steer by his chart, and never fear while he is within hail. Not one ship in the convoy shall suffer wreck; the great Commodore will steer every bark in safety to the desired haven. By faith we will slip our cable for another day's cruise, and sail forth with Jesus into a sea of tribulation. Winds and waves will not spare us, but they all obey him; and, therefore, whatever squalls may occur without, faith shall feel a blessed calm within. He is ever in the centre of the weather-beaten company: let us rejoice in him. His vessel has reached the haven, and so shall ours.

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Isaiah 51:12  "I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies And of the son of man who is made like grass,

2 Corinthians 1:3,4  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, • who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Psalm 103:3,14  Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; • For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.

Isaiah 66:13  "As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; And you will be comforted in Jerusalem."

1 Peter 5:7  casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

Psalm 86:15  But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.

John 14:16,17  "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; • that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

Romans 8:26  In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;

Revelation 21:4  and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."

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.

Evening September 13
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