In Romans 1:12 the Apostle Paul wrote about being mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. Communicating with other people and being with other people who have the same faith in Christ Jesus encourages us to continue in our faith.  We see that we are not alone in our faith.  Others see the same creation of God, they read and study the same Bible, and they have developed the same faith that guides their lives.  Recently I was able to go to the Philippines and meet with fellow Christians there.  Some days we travelled long distances to visit brethren in other churches so that we might know them and encourage them.  Sometimes the brethren riding with us would begin singing familiar hymns; we had beautiful singing, in four part harmony, as we rode along.  I was greatly encouraged by our mutual faith.  I am privileged to regularly visit churches in Mexico.  There I see brethren from a different culture and who speak a different language than my native language but who have the same faith as I have and I am again encouraged and I hope they are encouraged by me.  Your local congregation is where you can give and receive encouragement.  I am blessed with a wonderful home congregation where we share love and encouragement.  Without a doubt, my faith is stronger because of them.  In Genesis 2:18, God said that it was not good for man to be alone so he created woman.  In the same way, it is not good for a Christian to be alone – we need other Christians to walk beside us and encourage us.  I am convinced that one of the primary purposes of the church assembly is to give and receive encourage from each other.  1 Corinthians 14:26 “How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”  Some people, thinking that the primary purpose of the church assembly is to worship God, conclude within themselves that they can go off alone and better worship God; but doing so does not encourage their fellow Christians.  In fact, when we miss or forsake the assembly, we actually discourage other believers.  Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” We have an obligation to encourage our fellow Christians.  At the same time, we should be encouraged ourselves.

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