Close Encounters of the Encouraging Kind -- By: Joe Franklin

Close Encounters of the Encouraging Kind

“And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17 HCSB.

We were sitting in a restaurant with some friends talking about life, our families, and challenges that were ahead. It was a local church’s global conference on missions that had allowed our paths to cross again. Just before our food came that evening we prayed and gave thanks. There is nothing more encouraging in life than the fellowship of God’s people. Then a man and his wife approached our table. He identified himself and his wife as Messianic Jews bound for Israel because of their burden for their own Jewish people. They gave powerful testimony about coming to believe that Jesus Christ is Messiah. He told us that God had spoken to him and told him to approach our table, identify himself, and offer to pray for someone who is sick. Affirming our common belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, my friend shared with him about his battle with cancer and a prayer was offered up by our Jewish brother.

Needless to say it was an inspiration to each of us to see God working and connecting His children. This is another example of the outcome of simple childlike faith and obedience. It is also a reminder of God’s promises found in Jeremiah 31. The workplace applications are infinite. God is looking for those who will obey by faith and speak when told. The passage above speaks to two important categories: the words we speak and the deeds we do. With Christ as our Savior everything we do is done in the name of the Lord Jesus. Even when we are about those mundane tasks in the work place, our attitude reflects our heart and God knows. We can choose to do everything with gratitude. We can reach out to co-workers with words of encouragement and comfort. We can spend time each day in God’s word and in prayer seeking His very specific instructions and directions for the day. We can by faith know that He will direct our paths, perhaps redirect us for the day. A canceled flight, those components that did not make it today, the co-worker who did not show up, the supervisor with sudden unreasonable demands and the computer that locked up are just a few examples of how plans can change today. How we respond indicates what we really think of the Lord Jesus. 

God has a purpose in every moment of every day for each one of us. He has assigned us people and situations in which we can speak truth, hope, and comfort just like the Jewish couple above. Perhaps God has not audibly spoken to you, but then again how much more does He need to say. His word is available and completely applicable to each one of us today. Make today count for His glory and go have some close encounters of the encouraging kind.