Lincoln’s Pockets

Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. (Romans 15:2) 
The night US president Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theater in 1865, his pockets contained the following: two spectacles, a lens polisher, a pocketknife, a watch fob, a handkerchief, a leather wallet containing a five-dollar Confederate bill, and eight newspaper clippings, including several that praised him and his policies. 
I wonder what the Confederate money was doing in the president’s pocket, but I have little doubt about the glowing news stories. Everyone needs encouragement, even a great leader like Lincoln! Can you see him, in the moments before the fateful play, perhaps reading them to his wife? 
Who do you know who needs encouragement? Everyone! Look around you. There isn’t one person in your line of vision who is as confident as they seem. We’re all one failure, snide comment, or bad hair day away from self-doubt. 
What if we all obeyed God’s command to “please his neighbour for his good to edification”? (Romans 15:2). What if we determined only to speak “pleasant words” that are “as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones”? (Proverbs 16:24). What if we wrote these words down, so friends could reread and savor them? Then we’d all have notes in our pockets (or on our phones!). And we’d be more like Jesus, who “pleased not himself” but lived for others (Romans 15:3). 
Whose words have most encouraged you? Who might need encouragement that you’ve been overlooking? 
When I read this devotion it blessed me so very much! I needed to be reminded of this today. So often we can be so quick to judge someone, not knowing what they are truly going through. Maybe they just need an encouraging word. I pray today God will show me someone I’ve overlooked that might need encouragement. I pray today we can all be better at being swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

Loving God, help me to encourage others with my words, actions, and presence. Amen  

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 

Today’s Reading is Psalm 119:114


Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. (1 Thessalonians 5:11) 
Loving others includes encouraging one another. In Romans 12:7-8, Paul lists encouragement among the gifts of grace. When people accomplish a common objective together, all are encouraged. Fellow believers encourage one another to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). 
The Thessalonian Christians faced struggles and an uncertain future. Paul wrote to encourage them, reminding them of their faith and love and hope in Christ, all of which prepared them to be ready for the Lord’s return. And with these assurances they could keep encouraging one another and building each other up. 
The gift of encouragement is important in our lives. En­cour­agement is a gift in the home, the workplace, the church—wherever we find ourselves. We can come alongside others and be there for one another. We can listen, comfort, console, affirm. It’s a way of living out the command to love one another. 
Take time to recall the people who’ve been encouragers in your life. They’re the ones who were there when you thought you’d never laugh again. They were the ones who listened to you; whereas others just talked. Then ask yourself, “When was the last time I encouraged someone?” It’s not difficult, and the people you encourage are so blessed by it. 
Lord Jesus, help me to recognize the struggler or the lonely—anyone who needs your encouragement of love and hope today. In your name, Amen. 
This devotion blessed me today. I pray it blesses and encourages you as well. Remember this, God uses broken people like you and me to rescue broken people like you and me. Take time today and build someone up, remind them they’re worthy, be a light in a too often dim world. Encourage one another and build each other up. 
Today’s Reading is 1 Corinthians 13:4-5


Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. (1 Thessalonians 4:1)

I recently read. When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians he motivated them not with an award but with words of encouragement. He said, “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more” (1 Thess. 4:1). These Christians were pleasing God through their lives, and Paul encouraged them to continue to live more and more for Him.

Maybe today you and I are giving our best to know and love and please our Father. Let’s take Paul’s words as an incentive to continue on in our faith.

But let’s go one step further. Who might we encourage today with Paul’s words? Does someone come to mind who is diligent in following the Lord and seeking to please Him? Write a note or make a phone call and urge this person to keep on in their faith journey with Him. What you say may be just what they need to continue following and serving Jesus. 

Dear Lord, thank You for encouraging me through Your Word to keep living for You. Help me to encourage someone in my path today who needs an encouraging word to keep the faith and to continue following and serving You. May I be a light in someone’s day today. Amen.

Have a wonderful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is 1 Thessalonians 4:1-7