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Romans 15:5 NIV
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had
Marathon races are a test of endurance. Due to their long distance requirement, they are run on roads. Unlike races in the stadium, their participants or marathoners are in close proximity to the spectators and can interact with them. Apart from being cheered on by the spectators, they also receive on numerous occasions among other things, water-soaked sponges and cups of liquid refreshments for their encouragement, till they reach the finish line.
From our Bible text, God Himself heads the Ministry of Encouragement as the Chief Encourager. He doesn’t just stand at the finish line to receive us, but runs alongside us throughout our Christian race, urging and supplying us with all the grace needed for us to finish strong. He encourages us mainly through the pure, cleansing and refreshing water of His Word (Romans 15:4, Ephesians 5:26).
God desires our active involvement in this special ministry just like Barnabas in the Bible who lived out his own name, meaning ‘Son of Encouragement’ (Acts 4:36) by the sale of his landed property to support the church (Acts 4:37), mediating the acceptance of Paul (a former persecutor of believers), (Acts 9:26-27) and spurring the growth of the Gentile church (Acts 11:22-24).
We, in turn, must also encourage others who are becoming weak in life’s race just as Christ has done for us (Romans 15:1-3).
Go into today, always ready to be an encouragement to those who are down and weak, through kind words and actions. Truly, it has its rewards (Galatians 6:9-10).