An Encouraging Example
By Jill Beran
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Friendships are something we’ve pursued since grade school, and now Facebook counts our friends for us. The computer screen can make friendships simple, but in reality, friendships require work and take time. Recently I found myself thinking about friends, which led to a study on friendships and a closer look at Luke 1.
Mary and Elizabeth are often mentioned in a conversation about Biblical friendship and spiritual mentoring. These two gals set an encouraging example, and as I read their story, I found myself praying for an Elizabeth. God listened to my prayer and then He spoke to my heart.
It was as if He told me don’t just ask for an Elizabeth, be one. There is no way you or I can control our friends, their words or actions, but we can be a friend like Elizabeth. Let’s think about the kind of friend she was.
Elizabeth was AVAILABLE and APPROACHABLE. Remember the situation Mary was in… an angel had just appeared to her and told her she would give birth to the Son of God. She needed to process this news and share it with one she could trust. Mary went to Elizabeth and stayed with her for approximately three months. Friend, this convicts me… I don’t know the last time I gave 3 hours to a friend. Life is busy and our schedules are full; but if we want to be a friend who makes a difference, we must be willing to invest the time.
Elizabeth was WISE and HUMBLE. Her words in Luke 1:45 always go to my heart,
Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her.
I’m not sure what Mary expected, but she could have feared there would be jealousy or worried she‘d be labeled crazy. This response had to bless her. May we follow Elizabeth’s example, humble our hearts and speak words of wisdom.
Finally, Elizabeth was FILLED with the SPIRIT. She had spent time in the presence of Jesus and was filled with the Spirit (vs. 43). Friend, the same is true when you and I abide in Christ. His Spirit will fill us, and we will respond rightly. We too can be a friend like Elizabeth who encourages others and joins them in praising God.
I pray God will give each of us an “Elizabeth”, but I’m also asking Him to help every one of us be like her!
Below you will find three verses that tie in with the example set by Elizabeth. Read them, pray them and ask God to help you live them. Watching someone is powerful, learning lessons is important, but friend, only the Truth will transform!! Today how will you encourage, speak Truth and allow the Spirit to work through you?
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29 NIV
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8 NIV
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord thank You for the example set by Elizabeth. I’m grateful for the “Elizabeths” You’ve placed in my life, and I long to be a friend more like her myself. Help me abide in Your word and walk with You so that You can fill me up and pour me out. I ask You to help me be a friend who sets an example, encourages and points others to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
© 2019 by Jill Beran. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Wednesday, 24 August 2022.