I was talking to Ryan the other day & he said, "Hey, did you know that Joel Osteen is going to be here on Sunday?" - I had no idea! Well Ryan had two tickets & was going to take his friend & fellow youth coach , Joe with him. I couldnt let them have all the fun so I asked Joe's wife, Erica, & my dear friend & fellow youth coach, if she wanted to go. Of course, I couldnt let the better half miss out either so Ricky was up for it too!
It always amazes me to go to a Christian concert or an event like this where there are over 11,000 people in one room just praising God & worshipping together - its a great sight & a great feeling to be in the middle of it. Can you imagine what Heaven is going to be like? WOW!
But Joel had a great message on Encouragement and the power it holds for you & for others.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 "Therefore, encourage one another & build each other up"
I LOVE the topic of encouragement. I love to be able to encourage people & to see their face light up when they know that someone believes in them & of course, its always a wonderful feeling when someone encourages me as well! But it was a great reminder of how much encouragement means to some people.
Joel had the statistic of people in prison - 75% of them had one time or another had a family member who told them they would end up nowhere, or in prison - & there they were! Would it have made a difference for someone to speak into them encouragement & to say, "You are going to make something of yourself" - do you think it would have made a difference? I believe it would have! People need to know that someone is behind them, rooting them on!
A cute story he told - a man would go up to children & tell them that he had the ability to pick a winner! And he would get a child, walk around them, look them up & down, have a facial expression of taking notes to himself & just pondering this child. At the end, he would look at them & say, "I can tell you, 100% assurance, you are a winner!" - the child's face would light up & run back to their parents & tell them "I'm a winner!" - at that moment, they probably felt like they could do anything. Could you imagine the things that child could do if every day, they got that affirmation that they were a winner!!!
Now think about how much God tries to encourage us! With friends, guidance, His Word - so much encouragement to keep us on the road of fighting - to believing in ourselves that we are His child & we can do anything that He leads us to! He is that man walking around us, eyeing us up & down, & looking at us & saying "I can tell you, 100% assurance - You are a winner!"
So I challenge you to encourage someone this week! Give a word, a note, a phone call, an email - something that would encourage someone in your life! Let them know that you are behind them - that they can make it through whatever life is giving them - that they are a child of God - that's all it takes to be the best winner of all!