Daily Devotionals

Believe It or Not Week 1 Saturday

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

I have heard it said by multiple people in multiple ways that we become like the people we surround ourselves with. You know this to be true. We often talk and act like the people we spend the most time with. The people around us have a significant amount of influence on us. Because of this, it is wise to surround ourselves with people who positively influence us, especially when it comes to our faith, and to be sure we are influencing them positively. We need to surround ourselves with people who celebrate how God changes our stories.

The apostle Paul understood the immense value of being surrounded by people who celebrate all God is doing in our lives and celebrate with them as well. He wrote about this in 1 Thessalonians 5. In this chapter, he wrote about the truth that because of Jesus, God changes our stories when we place our faith in Him ((verse 10). He then wrote these words, “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing (verse 10). In light of all Jesus had done, Paul called followers of Christ to carry on a spirit of encouragement and build each other up. This encouragement gives Christ-followers strength, confidence, and empowerment. When we are encouraged, we feel supported. We feel celebrated, and we can celebrate together.

This call from Paul is a reminder for you and me of our impact on each other. When we spend time around people who celebrate all that God is doing in our lives, and we celebrate with them as well, we are changed. The question is, will we take this call to encourage each other and celebrate together seriously? Will we choose to surround ourselves with people who celebrate Christ and all He does in our lives, and will we celebrate with them? This is the calling you and I have today. We are profoundly impacted by the people we spend time around, and we have an opportunity to impact the people around us. So let’s be people who celebrate together and build each other up every day.

Moving Toward Action

Take a few minutes today to celebrate with someone because of the incredible ways God has changed your story. Who is someone in your life who celebrates these moments? Talk to them today and tell them how God has worked in your life. Maybe God has helped you respond with patience to your kids instead of anger. Perhaps He gave you the courage to invite a co-worker to church who you know is far from Christ. Maybe He gave you peace in a time when most people would feel worried. Whatever the case, share about it with this friend or family member, and ask them to share with you some way God has changed their story as well. Celebrate together the truth that God is in the business of changing our stories and bringing us from death to life.

Going Deeper

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (NLT)

Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you. For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.

But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.

For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. 11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.