Itâ€™s partly because heâ€™s always praising God for how heâ€™s moving in Martâ€™s family, church, business, or the ministries he loves to serve.
But itâ€™s also because Mart ends every email and phone call with these encouraging words, â€œRemember, I believe in you!â€
This never ceases to amaze me.
Here is a man who carries responsibility for the well-being of thousands of people who work at Hobby Lobby, Mardel, Oral Roberts University, and ministries that are spreading the gospel around the world (see his bio) â€¦ and yet he takes time to say that he believes in me.
Itâ€™s certainly not because Iâ€™m particularly talented or successful.
Weâ€™ve been friends long enough for Mart to know how weak and inadequate I can be.
But he also knows a lot of good theology.
So he knows that I am made in the image of God and have been adopted as his beloved child through faith in Christ (Gen. 1:27; Eph. 1:5; Col. 3:12).
He knows that God delights to use foolish, weak and inadequate believers like me to advance his kingdom (1 Cor. 1:27; Exod. 4:10-12).
He knows that God does this by giving each of us special gifts for strengthening his church (Rom. 12:6; 1Cor. 12:4-7).
And he knows that although we may struggle and stumble along the way, God will fulfill his promise to steadily transform us into the likeness of his Son as he uses us to build his kingdom (Phil. 1:6; Rom. 8:28-29; 2Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:11-16).
So when Mart says â€œI believe in you,â€ I know that what he really means is â€œI believe God is going to continue doing good things to you, for you and through you â€¦ in spite of your limitations!â€
And that encourages me â€¦ especially on days when Iâ€™m painfully aware of my failures or deficiencies.
You can have the same impact this week as you engage your spouse, children, friends, pastor, co-workers and fellow church members â€¦ anyone who might need some â€œwind under their wings.â€
Just end your conversations and emails with the simple phrase Mart always leaves with me, â€œI believe in you.â€
And when someone asks you why, be sure to share with them some of the theology mentioned above.
– Ken Sande
- When do you especially need or appreciate a word of encouragement? Who has God used to encourage you at a time like that? What impact did it have on your life?
- Why do you think God repeatedly commands us to encourage one another? (see 1 Thess. 5:11; Heb. 10:25)
- Do you feel uneasy encouraging Christians who are behaving in many worldly ways? Then learn a lesson from the apostle Paul. Although the Christians in Corinth were very immature and fickle in their faith (see 1 Cor. 3:1-3), Paul began his first letter to them by giving thanks for the way he saw God working in their lives (1 Cor. 1:4-8). So even when people are far from perfect, we can still draw attention to the EGGs (“evidences of Godâ€™s grace”) in their lives.
- For examples of other ways you can encourage people, read Serving a Barista, Have You Ever Been This Kind?, and Breathe Grace.
Permission to distribute: Please feel free to download, print, or electronically share this message in its entirety for non-commercial purposes with as many people as you like.
Â© 2015 Ken Sande
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