Refresh and Remind

       The next step of “S.T.I.R. up one another”, after we “Seek God”, “Take action” and take “Interest and Intercede” for one another, is to pray for ways to be an encouragement to them through “Refresh and Remind”.

       In caring for others, genuine listening is important. Without that, we cannot respond properly in a helpful way. Nor would we be able to discern the deeper need, the spiritual need of a person, in order to be an encouragement to them. But if we have listened, and interceded for them – the Holy Spirit enlighten our eyes in how we encourage them through God’s Word.

       Of course we can and should offer practical help for physical and even emotional needs - but there are deeper issues, we can only walk alongside them as a support, and together come before God for help. Refresh them not only with our limited wisdom, but draw on the fountain of wisdom in God’s Word. Remind them not only to do the right action, but go to the one who gives and sustains life. 

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

       The pandemic may have a vaccine, and (hopefully) will soon be over, but beneath it is another crisis. It is that the faith of many were tested during this time. We as fellow believers have a duty to care for one another, to be what the church should be – to engage the disengaged.

“Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
(Hebrews 10:24-25)

激發勉勵

      當我們「禱告祈求」、以「行動回應」,又「慰問代禱」之後,我們這個「彼此相顧」的行動最後一步就是藉着禱告,尋求方法來「激發勉勵」,給別人鼓勵和支持。    

      讓我提醒你,在關懷別人時,我們的真誠聆聽是很重要的。欠缺真誠的聆聽,我們將無法給予正確的回應,也無法洞察別人深層的需要,即是靈性上的需要,便難以給予適切的鼓勵和支持。但當我們真正地傾聽,並為他們代求,聖靈就會開啟我們的眼睛,讓我們曉得如何藉着神的話語勉勵他們。 

      當然,我們可以也應該為別人在實際上甚至心靈情感上的需要提供實質幫助。但是有些更深層的問題,我們只能作他們的同行者給予支持,一同來到神面前尋求幫助。這樣就不是只靠着我們有限的智慧來激發他們,而是藉着神的話語,就是那智慧的湧泉,勉勵他們不僅要作正確的事,也要尋求那位賜生命﹑賦予我們能力面對生命的主。

「我是葡萄樹,你們是枝子。常在我裡面的,我也常在他裡面,這人就多結果子;因為離了我,你們就不能做什麼。」
 (約翰福音15:5)   

      新冠大流行也許在疫苗面世後,將會(希望如此)很快結束。但是,這其實引發了另一個危機,就是在這段時間裡我們有許多人的信心受到了考驗。我們作為信徒的群體,是有責任彼此相顧,激發愛心,勉勵行善,這也正是教會所當做的事。

「又要彼此相顧,激發愛心,勉勵行善。你們不可停止聚會,好像那些停止慣了的人,倒要彼此勸勉;既知道那日子臨近,就更當如此。」 (希伯來書10:24-25)