Travis Case, Pastor/Teacher Northgate Baptist Church F.E.A.S.T Ministries
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:" (Prov. 17:22)
"... the joy of the LORD is your strength." (Neh. 8:10)
A. The Greek word "Parakaleo" (Exhorteth) means to Admonish --- to Encourage --- to Beseech.
B. Every church, every home, every business needs many exhorters (encouragers).
1. We have More Than Enough people that:
a. Have a negative, negative, negative, attitude.
b. Suppress, squelch, quench, inhibit, choke, and stifle others in their service to God.
2. Like Archie Bunker, all they can say is "Stifle it"!
(If not openly --- they say it by their actions.)
C. Heb. 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."
D.Exhortation is the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by Motivating Others To Action --- by urging them to pursue a course of conduct.
1. The Exhorter is a "How To" man.
a. Everything he teaches revolves around telling people "how to do it".
b. The exhorter has Step For Everything.
2. Exhorters often make the best Counselors:
a. They are willing to spend Time with people.
b. They give them the practical Steps they need to solve their problems.
E. Exhorters often end up Teaching Seminars for Christian workers, helping them Achieve More in their ministries.
1. He has a thousand Goals and Ideas and a Solution or Program for everything.
2. Sometimes he has difficulty translating all his ideas into action.
F. The Exhorter is Growth or Goal Oriented --- he Expects Results.
1. Sometimes he wants to accomplish Too Much Too Fast.
2. He has a strong belief that God's Word Has The Answer For Every Problem.
PAUL --- Had The Spiritual Gift of Exhortation!
Col. 1:28-29, "Him (Christ) we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect (complete) in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily."
Characteristics of The Spiritual Gift --- "Exhortation"
I. A Motivation To Urge People To Their Full Spiritual Maturity In Christ.
A. They are Not Interested In All The Details, they just want to know if you are Growing.
1. He wants to see everyone reaching Full Potential.
2. He enjoys motivating people to do More --- do Better --- and do their Best.
B. Paul's Goal was to "...present every man perfect in Christ Jesus" (Col. 1:28)
II. An Ability To Visualize Spiritual Achievement For People And To Use This To Motivate Them To Action.
A. On a one to one, or a group, basis; it doesn't take an exhorter long to Discover A Person's Potential.
1. They can look at you and Visualize What You Could Be if God had all of you.
2. They can see the "Big Picture" of what God can do with your life.
B. This really gets his adrenaline flowing and he can't wait to help you become what God wants you to be.
C. He is Not Interested In Getting Any of The "Glory" --- he just wants to see something happen in your life personally.
III. An Ability To Discern Where A Person Is In Spiritual Growth And To Speak on That Level.
A. Paul saw the Corinthians as Spiritual Infants: "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ" --- (1 Cor. 3:1).
B. One of the first things that an exhorter will begin to do is to Ask Questions.
1. He wants to know Where You Are in your spiritual life.
2. "What is God doing your life?"
a. In your "quiet time"...
b. In your "prayer life"...
C. They are Not Being "Nosey" --- they are just trying to find out where you are spiritually.
1. The Exhorter is usually a Good Counsellor.
2. He is able to help others find their Problems and Solutions.
3. He is More Tolerant Than Hostile toward people, usually Sympathetic.
D. He needs to know where you are spiritually in order to devise the proper steps to get you --- from where you are --- to where God wants you to be.
IV. A Desire To Give Precise Steps of Action In Urging People Toward Spiritual Maturity.
A. One of the Greatest Problems In Preaching during the past 50 years is Challenging People To Do Something Without Telling Them How To Do It.
1. The Exhorter gives Practical Application to God's Word and helps put the principles into practice.
2. He may question the value of deep doctrinal studies.
3. He wants the practical aspects of the Scriptures --- to teach man how to solve his problems.
B. The Exhorter is Never Satisfied With Merely Delivering The Truth --- he must give steps by which the Truth Can Be Implemented.
1. He gives Practical Applications to God's Word and helps put the Principles Into Practice.
2. The Exhorter is a person of Charts, Graphs and Lists.
3. He has Several Steps of Action to solve every problem.
C. The Exhorter is usually More Interested In The Positive Than The Negative.
1. He seldom uses "Thou shalt not" as a way to get people to act.
2. He uses ideas and methods which will make the right way seem better to that person than the wrong way.
V. A Tendency To Welcome Personal Tribulation As A Chief Motivator of Spiritual Growth.
A. Paul Gloried In His Infirmities, because he saw that they brought Christ power and glory upon him.
1. A person with the gift of exhortation has discovered the Value of Suffering.
2. 2 Cor. 1:5, "For as the Sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our Consolation also abounds through Christ."
3. 2 Cor. 4:17, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is Working For Us A Far More Exceeding And Eternal Weight of Glory."
4. 2 Cor. 12:9-10, "And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My Strength Is Made Perfect In Weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, That The Power of Christ May Rest Upon Me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong."
B. He may be quick to say to you: "Your Tribulation may be one of those Vital Steps --- from where you are --- to Where God Wants You To Be.
C. He may have Difficulty Accepting Himself because of the need of being an example.
D. However, he knows that The Power is not in the "hammer" or the "chisel" but In The Hand That Holds the hammer and the chisel.
VI. A Tendency To Avoid Systems of Information Which Lack Practical Application.
A. When an exhorter listens to a message, he is waiting to see if you are going to tell them How To Do What You Have Just Told Them To Do.
1. They are bored with just the message.
2. They need steps to implement the message.
B. He is usually Upset with Impractical Teaching.
1. He may even be guilty of Taking Scripture Out of Context just to support what he is teaching.
2. Some think that he does not use enough Scripture.
C. He is very practical person, usually Analytical.
VII. A Desire For Face To Face Discussion In Order To Determine And Insure A Positive Response.
A. Paul's longing to see his fellow-believers was constantly reaffirmed.
1. 1 Thess. 2:17, "But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored more eagerly to see your face, with great desire."
2. 1 Thess. 3:10, "night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith."
3. 2 Tim. 1:4, "greatly desiring to see you being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy."
B. Paul used Personal Conferences extensively.
1 Thess. 2:11-12, "as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would have a walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory."
C. The exhorter Wants To Get Personal in order to help you discern: --- where you are --- how you got there --- and how you can get to victory and fulfillment in your spiritual life.
D. He is comfortable working one-on-one.
VIII. An Ability To Discover Insights From Personal Experience Which Can Be Validated And Amplified In Scripture.
A. The "Teacher" goes first to the Word of God and then makes application.
B. The "Exhorter" watches peoples lives --- then they go to the Word of God --- to find the principles that they can take back to you
C. They are interested in those principles that will give you solid steps of motivation to help you grow in your spiritual life.
IX. A Motivation To Bring Harmony Between Diverse Groups of Christians, And An Awareness That Harmony Is Basic To Spiritual Maturity.
A. The exhorter Does Well In The Midst of Trouble.
He sees problems as a challenge --- He delights in presenting a solution.
B. He has a Desire To Unify People by using practical rather than doctrinal issues.
C. He is serious minded, conservative, logical.
D. He is a Positive Thinker, a Strong Believer that things will be better tomorrow.
X. An Enjoyment With Those Eager To Follow Steps of Action.
A. They are Not Interested In "Small Talk".
1. He is Bored With Trivia.
2. He wants to get down to the root of the problem and give you a solution.
B. He is Result Oriented.
Misunderstandings of The Gift of --- "Exhortation"
I. The Emphasis On Steps of Action May Appear To Oversimplify The Problem.
A. The exhorter "knows" that steps 1-2-3 came straight from God.
B. However, the person with the problem.....
1. He doesn't understand --- he makes everything too simple.
2. He is too positive --- things are more bleak than he realizes.
II. The Urgency In Giving Steps of Action May Appear As Having Over-Confidence In Them.
A. "You mean to tell me if I just do 1-2-3 that it is going to settle my problem?"
B. The truth is --- "YES".
C. The Exhorter who also has the gift of Prophecy.....
D. The Exhorter who also has the gift of mercy.....
III. The Desire To Win Non-Christians Through Living Examples May Appear As A Lack of Interest In Personal Evangelism.
A. The emphases of the Exhorter is developing the Believer --- helping him to grow spiritually.
B. John said, "I have No Greater Joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (3 John 4).
IV. The Use of Scripture For Practical Application May Appear To Take It Out of Context.
A. The teacher say, "It was written to the Babylonians in 500 B.C. and therefore has nothing to do with you today."
B. The Exhorter say, "I don't care who it was written to, it applies today and it will work in your situation."
1. The Bible was written to them but it was written for us.
2. Principles never change and they are applicable for us today.
3. 1 Cor. 10:11, "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come."
C. 2 Tim. 2:15, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth."
V. The Emphasis on Steps of Action May Appear To Disregard The Feelings of Those Being Counseled.
A. The gift of mercy may stand off and say, "They are not ready for that yet."
B. However, the gift of Exhortation knows that the only way to get from where you are is to ---Take A Step .
1. You can't stand on dead center and grow in the Lord.
2. You will never win the race if you never start.
C. The Exhortor, rather than making people feel special, may give the impression that they are just another "counseling project."
How Does A Person With The
1. Wisdom --- Discerning your spirit --- visualizing your potential --- showing you the steps --- knowing the Scriptures.
2. Discernment --- Being able to see through all the pretense and see your problem as it really is.
3. Faith --- They not only visualize what you can become but they believe that, if you follow the steps they give, you can achieve that goal.
4. Discretion --- They know what to say and what not to say --- they are discrete in how fast or slow they move you alone in your spiritual growth.
5. Love --- They know that the first step in moving you alone to where God wants you is to accept you just as you are and where you are --- loving you --- forgiving you --- not accusing or judging you
6. Creative --- They have to be creative because everybody is different.
7. Enthusiam --- The Exhorter is certainly not a negative person --- He is enthusiastic, usually cheerful and bubbly --- He is the encourager and cheerleader of the TEAM.
How Does A Person With The Gift
1. Wisdom turns into Natural Inclinations --- They just do it the way the world does it --- all of human (self) effort.
2. Discernment turns into Judgdmentalism --- They become critical --- try to make you ashamed.
3. Faith turn into Presumption --- They presume upon God.
4. Discretion turns into Simple Mindedness --- They become very gullible.
5. Love turns into Selfishness --- "Don't call me anymore, I don't really have time for you."
6. Creativity turns into Under-Achievement --- They just lay back and don't care.
7. Enthusiasm turn into Apathy --- "Don't bother me, I'm not interested.
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