Under the category Encouragement from Stories, I will be sharing stories about people who are an encouragement to me. This will range from Biblical stories to stories from church history to contemporary stories of people whose life God has affected greatly for His Kingdom and their good. I encourage you to send me emails of people you know or have read about that you feel would be well worth us learning about. Send them to my email firstname.lastname@example.org for my review.
Let me begin with my personal testimony. I was saved at the age of thirteen (13), and there was a man – Mr. Voiles – who was in his 80s at the time who “took a liking” to me. I would spend two to three hours at a time in his home during the week just listening to him talk. Sometimes he would teach straight from the Scriptures and sometimes he would tell stories of people, including himself, who had experienced God working in their life in personal and powerful ways.
Mr. Voiles was an encouragement to me, because he had an interest in me on a personal level. He cared that I really understand what being a follower of Jesus was all about. I remember him vividly contrasting certain traditions and ways of “the church” with the ways of God in Scripture. While he did not have all the answers, he certainly saw the bigger picture of the Kingdom of God and how important it was for me to see it as well. He (and others along the way) was an encouragement to me that gave me someone to go to for questions and concerns.
His life was not filled with leisure time. I remember him talking one time about how soft people are today, because they actually were paid to be sick and go on vacation! It’s funny how life is all about perspective, huh? He was used to working six full days and only being paid for days he worked. He was not only used to that, but he saw it as the “Biblical way”. While I am not taking sides on the issue of sick days and vacations days at work, I am saying that he was not speaking his wisdom from an ivory tower of a political office or professor’s pulpit. He actually lived what he taught. He had believed in the Lord intellectually and had learned from experience that the Lord was worthy of his faith.
Encouragement is a gift, and it should always lead to action on my part. I must take this gift and give it to others. What I find myself doing these days is looking for people that I can put “courage into”. What Mr. Voiles has done for me, I would like to do for others.
May we all be someone’s encourager. Do you have someone like this in your life? If so, tell them how much you appreciate them if they are still living. Pay them the greatest compliment by doing for others what he/she has done for you!
Calvary Baptist Church
300 W. 1st Ave.
Lenoir City, TN 37771