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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Encouragement (among believers) (11/08/07)

TITLE: Stand Fast
By Donna Carrico
11/12/07


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STAND FAST

The greatest encourager for the body of Christ who ever lived was and continues to be the Apostle Paul. I do not exalt Paul above the Lord Jesus Christ. The words that our Lord spoke are ?life? and what Jesus did by giving his life for us was the supreme expression of love. The Apostle Paul, following in the steps of our Lord, spoke to the common people, gave his life, and his words also remain to encourage, bless, and challenge believers yet to this day.

Paul penned many of his words during persecution and imprisonment. He forsook his own pity party and embraced his calling as an encourager to the church. That is the secret of being a blessing to others; putting their needs above your own. Paul speaks to us addressing husbands, wives, children, servants, teachers, preachers, and fellow believers who struggle with sin in their daily lives. He also teaches us and how to live our lives centered on the cross of Christ.

As we approach the time of Christ?s return, we will see more persecution of Christians and our freedoms taken away one by one. We must lift other believers up in words and deeds. We must show unbelievers we are Christians by the love we have for each other. We must reach out to the lost and dying world with compassion, but always presenting the truth from the word of God. We must give them hope through what Jesus has already done for them

Our world is rapidly changing. Yes, there have always been wars and rumors of wars. As I write several states in our own United States face shortages of water, raging wild fires, more homeless families brought on by these natural disasters, poor economic conditions, and companies downsizing; along with crime ridden streets and horrible child abuse including cases allegedly perpetrated by those who call themselves Christians.

As we begin to face the perilous times Paul spoke of that lie ahead, may we remember the words of the great encourager.

Romans 8:35-39 KJV
(35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
(36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
(37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
(38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
(39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 6:10-18 KJV
(10) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
(11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
(12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
(13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
(14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
(15) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
(16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
(17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
(18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Philippians 4:1 KJV
(1) Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Karen Wilber 11/16/07
A good reminder to encourage believers in the midst of trials. If Paul could do it, so can we.
Joanne Sher 11/17/07
A lot of truth here. Paul is certainly an amazing role model for encouragement - thank you for reminding us of it.
Phyllis Inniss 11/21/07
Paul is one of the best encouragers of carrying out the Word of God. Because of his earlier persecution of Christians, his zeal for spreading the Word of God made him a force to be reckoned with. God made him into a new creation, and so gave him the tools to bring others to Christ. Your article gives testimony to the way he stood fast in his belief.