16 Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him.18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not. Malachi 4:16-18
These verses give me some strength and peace. As I read the whole book of Malachi I discovered it’s like all the other prophetic writings; it is full of judgement against Israel. This little section of scripture is the exception. Verse 16 is my focus today. It says that those who feared the Lord talked with each other. The Message version of the bible says those who honored God, got together and talked. What they did in essence, is encouraged each other. To encourage someone is to help them to get to courage. One of the most loving things you can do is to encourage and speak life into people. Jesus even spoke of how important it was in one of His prayers that He gave after meeting with the disciples for the last time in John 17:11. He was praying that we would be as one as the Son and the Father are one. What that means is we need to be a part of each others lives. I am so blessed by my church family, and I call them that because that is how I think of them. I am so encouraged by them every week and during the week as well. We are a part of each others lives and we encourage each other. To love like that requires risk. We open ourselves up to hurt and disappointment, but the rewards are eternal when we impact someone’s life in a positive manner. It takes courage to encourage, but when you do, you give that person courage to pass on the encouragement.