October 5, 2019
Acts 20:1-6 (in context)
When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said goodbye and set out for Macedonia. He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, where he stayed three months. Because some Jews had plotted against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia.He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia.These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. But we sailed from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days.
Every day I consider that I need five basic things to live well. A healthy diet, exposure to sunlight, physical exercise, adequate sleep and one more. I’ve actually created an acronym for the five things: S.E.E.D.S. You can see the correspondence between the bolded words above and the letters of the acronym.
You are wondering what is the “one more.” Here’s a hint: it begins with the letter E. It falls into the category of “one of these things is not like the others.” In fact, this “one more” thing is so powerful and profound it can make up for a deficit in any or all of the other four needs. Whereas the four things listed above deal with bodily or physical needs, the fifth engages the deepest need of our spirit. I would go so far as to say that if we have this fifth gift, we can go for a time with a complete absence of the other four. It’s that powerful and important.
So what do you think it is? I have written of this need before, describing it as the very currency of the Kingdom of God. This gift is all at once supernatural and ordinary. For people attempting to follow Jesus into the will of God, this gift is next to the air we breathe.
We see it prominently in today’s text. Scan back over the text quickly and see if you can pick up what I am talking about.
O.K., I’m just going to say it: Encouragement. We need it every single day. Encouragement is the language of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit encourages us. When we say, “Come Holy Spirit,” we are saying many things, and among them is, “Fill me with courage.” The Spirit will also readily encourage others through us and vice versa. Ask him to fill you with encouragement for others today.
I’ll close with a quick review of the five daily needs. S.E.E.D.S.: Sunshine. Exercise. Encouragement. Diet. Sleep.
COME HOLY SPIRIT!
Which among the five daily needs are you succeeding with. Which poses more of a struggle for you? Now, who will you encourage today?
For the Awakening,