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There are those times in life when we need to be lifted up and encouraged. There are also those times when what needs is to be moved on and exhorted. The person with the spiritual gift of exhortation is divinely empowered by the Holy Spirit to be used in just the right way in a person’s life.

Romans 12:6–8 (NLT) “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”

The Christian who exhorts is spiritually gifted with that unique ability to help folks move forward in their relationship with Jesus. Sometimes it comes in the form of encouragement which we always love. Other times it comes in the form of exhortation, which we don’t always love. Either way, God uses a woman or man in our lives to get us where He wants us to be.

Love for God and love for people. The exhorter is motivated by love. This person sees beyond the current circumstances to the potential in every person. They can encourage change and growth in others because they see what God has placed inside them.

1 Corinthians 13:1–7 (NLT) “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

If you have been given this gift, then use it! Don’t be afraid to speak the truth into people’s lives, even if it’s not what they want to hear. It might just be exactly what they need.

So, the next time you feel called to exhort someone, do it! You never know how God might use your words to change their life forever.


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