1 Thessalonians 5:10-11    [Our Lord Jesus Christ] died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.  Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Our coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, our being ‘born again’, is a very individual and personal thing, when the Holy Spirit brings new life to our spiritually dead hearts and opens our blind eyes and deaf ears, enabling us to know Jesus as our personal Saviour and Lord.  “As for you, you were DEAD in your transgressions and sins, …  But because of his great love for us, GOD, who is rich in mercy, MADE US ALIVE with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by Grace you have been saved”  (Ephesians 2:1, 4-5).

Nevertheless, coming into a new, personal, living relationship with our God and Heavenly Father, automatically also brings us into a vital, living relationship with other believers – we are all living TOGETHER with our Risen Lord Jesus Christ!  While this is an amazing privilege to enjoy, we must never forget that it also brings with it a great responsibility.  There is such a great need for mutual encouragement in these troubled and challenging days.

Have you experienced the uplift that comes from even just a seemingly minor encouraging word or action from a friend or loved one?  Have you recently had, and taken, an opportunity to encourage someone ‘in the Lord’?

Apparently the ministry of mutual encouragement was a notable feature of the Church at Thessalonica.  Even if this is true of our avenues of fellowship, the Apostle Paul urges us to keep at it, because it is the means the Holy Spirit uses to ‘build us up’ in our faith and service.  How important this is as each day brings us closer to the Day when Jesus Returns as Lord and King.  The Author of Hebrews makes the same point: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).