Thank You For Encouraging Us...

"Tychicus will tell you all about my activities.  He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.  I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you.  They will tell you of everything that has taken place here."

Colossians 4:7-9

Read the rest of the letter to the Colossians and what you will find is a list of names and shared greetings from the likes of Aristarchus, Mark, Justus, Epaphras, Luke, Demas.  Names that mean very little to us who read this letter today but names and greetings that meant so much to that church in Colossi.  I know this now more than ever.  Calvary Wolfeboro knows this now more than ever.  These names represented the love and encouragement that only our brothers and sisters in Christ can bring.  Tychicus came to the church with two purposes: to inform and to encourage.  And as I look back on the last year of the life our our church and the new body God is planting and growing here in Wolfeboro, God has sent many Tychicus's our way.  So much encouragement has been poured out on us through the constant flow of visitors from Albuquerque; all coming with the joy of the Lord and encouragement in their hearts.  I know I speak for so many of the body when I express our deepest gratitude to the Lord and the faithfulness of these good friends.  You have lifted us up and brought a renewed sense of God's calling on our lives.  And I don't mean just Kari and I, but so many others who God has called to plant this new work.

I find encouragement to be one of the most important ministries within the Church.  They say that without hope one can't live a moment.  I would say the same about encouragement.  "Encourage one another!" is a paraphrase of the admonition Paul gives in conjunction with the command not to forsake the assembling together as Christians in Hebrews 10:25.  We all get low.  Everyone deals with discouragement.  It's one of Satan's tools to keep us from doing what God has called us to do.  And it works because the effect of discouragement is like the effects of brakes on a car.  You stop.  Encouragement helps a person to take the foot off the brakes and start moving again.

There is a lot of work to do in Wolfeboro.  There is a lot of work to do in this world.  It's easy to get discouraged and stop.  It's easy for the ministry to stop.  We have seen such tremendous progress and growth within Calvary Wolfeboro.  Through it all I see God's provision of constant encouragement through the lives of our brothers and sisters from across the country and I wonder...Where would this work God is doing be if it weren't for the encouragement of so many?  Not just all of you who have made the trip, but all of you who faithfully send letters, write messages, and post encouraging words on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  You have certainly given Kari and I strength.  You have certainly built us up and brought endurance to our work.  And for that I am extraordinarily grateful.

But my point in all this is not to stop with the idea that we have been encouraged from the outside by people who have visited and keep coming.  My point is not to just ask you to continue your encouragement in every form(Please do!).  Here's the conclusion of the matter:  Every person you come across today, tomorrow, next week and next decade needs encouragement too.  Let's be Christians known for encouragement.  Let's be like Tychicus!  Let's see ourselves as sent by God to encourage.  You know you need it.  So does everybody else!

For His Glory,

Justin