Loving God. Loving our neighbor.


Encouragement: To come alongside to give courage.  Scotty Smith does that for us with this prayer.


1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Heavenly Father, this Scripture lands on our hearts today like 72 degree low humidity morning after a month of sweltering heart. Hallelujah, for the encouragement producing, perspective giving, heart refreshing power of your Word.

There are many things over which we don’t have any control; many outcomes that remain hidden from us; and many broken stories, broken people, and broken circumstances that may, or may not, get better this side of heaven. But this we do know, because of the finished work of Jesus, our future contains 0% judgment and 100% joyful welcome by you; 0% wrath and 100% perfect righteousness in Jesus; 0% brokenness and 100% perfect relationship with you. Everything’s going be—not just okay, but magnificent, right, and beautiful… beyond our wildest dreams and hopes.

Until then, Father, make us genuine encouragers and “builder-uppers” of our families, friends, and neighbors. Thank you for the privilege we have of bearing one another’s burdens; showing up in one another’s stories; holding one another accountable for believing the gospel; giving each other hope-fueling perspective at low times, and life-giving rebukes at wandering times.

Father, thank you that, whether we die before Jesus returns, or live to see that blessed Day, we are your beloved children, now and forever. Nothing can ever separate us from your love, deplete your mercies or exhaust your grace.

Thank you that the darkest clouds often bring the most refreshing rains, and that boasting in our weakness is still the best way to taste your sweetness, and that none of us will ever be beyond the need or reach of your grace. Indeed, Father, make us encouragers with this good news and living hope, as long as you keep us in this world. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.