Welcome back to womens online Bible as we continue We Saved You a Seat by Lisa-Jo Baker. As we discussed in our online Bible study, encouraging a friend can be a powerful way to uplift and support her.

Here are some suggestions on how you can encourage a friend:

1. Be a good listener: Take the time to listen attentively to your friend without judgment. Show empathy and validate their feelings. Sometimes, simply lending an ear can be incredibly encouraging.

2. Offer genuine compliments: Point out your friend’s strengths, accomplishments, or positive qualities. Let them know what you appreciate about them. Genuine compliments can boost their self-esteem and make them feel valued.

3. Provide emotional support: Be there for your friend during challenging times. Offer a shoulder to lean on and let them know they’re not alone. Offer words of comfort, understanding, and reassurance. Pray with them.

4. Offer words of affirmation: Speak positive and uplifting words to your friend. Encourage them by expressing belief in their abilities, reminding them of their past successes, and expressing confidence in their future endeavors. Let your words speak LIFE.

5. Be a source of motivation: Encourage your friend to pursue their goals and dreams. Offer words of motivation and remind them of their potential. Help them stay focused and provide support in their journey.

6. Celebrate their achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate your friend’s milestones and accomplishments, no matter how big or small. Express genuine happiness for their success and let them know you’re proud of them.

7. Be reliable and dependable: Show up for your friend when they need you. Be someone they can count on in both good times and bad. Being a reliable presence in their life can be encouraging in itself.

8. Offer practical help: Sometimes, encouraging a friend involves taking action. Offer your assistance or support in practical matters. Whether it’s helping them with a task, offering advice, or providing resources, your practical support can be greatly appreciated.

9. Share uplifting and inspiring resources: Recommend the Bible Cafe™ University, books, articles, podcasts, or videos that you think might inspire and uplift your friend. Sharing resources that have helped you in the past can be a meaningful way to encourage them. Bring her to a church Bible study or Sunday worship.

10. Express gratitude and appreciation: Take the time to express your gratitude and appreciation for your friend. Let them know how much they mean to you and how their presence has positively impacted your life. Feeling appreciated can be incredibly encouraging.

Remember, everyone is unique, so consider your friend’s personality, preferences, and needs when offering encouragement. Small acts of kindness and genuine support can make a significant difference in their life.

Seek the opportunity to look at the calling/anointing of your friends. As we discussed in our online Bible study, it would be to have a friend group with different spiritual gifts: from Ephesians 4:11, “It was He (Jesus) who gave some to be (1) apostles, some to be (2) prophets, some to be (3) evangelists, and some to be (4) pastors and (5) teachers.”

Ask yourself: Do I know a missionary/evangelist? Are there any prophets in my life speaking words of knowledge? Who are the teachers in my life? Which friends fill the discipleship role? My pastor once told me “There are people in the Church who know these things. Pray and look for them.”

In a good way, the Fear Of Missing Out/FOMO allows me to get out of my comfort zone. Just yesterday a group of neighbors were walking to the beach and asked me to join them. We enjoyed a backyard party with them Friday evening. I had to overcome my discomfort and interruptions and become intentional on MY part not to reject their invitations because the weather was cold or I was busy doing something else. I take responsibility for not missing out …. when I let go of perfection or familiarity and adapt to the invitation!

Lisa-Jo Baker points out that encouraging others not only lifts the one being encouraged but the one doing the encouraging as well.

According to 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT): So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. >

The One who encourages is Christ, from my heart to hers. -Christine Abraham

Don’t get discouraged. It’s easy to be judged and misunderstood (or ignored) on social media. That like button needs to go away! People measure their likes against other people they follow. The algorithm can hide your content and make you feel ignored.

And yet, social media has opened the door for online Bible study. We have many women participating at Bible Cafe™ who are international, or unable to attend local church groups due to caretaking or personal illness. They want to talk, be encouraged, and make friends. We love our online Bible study groups!

Imagine you are a friend of GOD. What things might you do to grow your friendship? 1) spend time with Him 2) ask Him for wisdom when you need direction 3) seek Him for comfort when you are hurting 4) laugh with Him and express your joy through worship 5) respect His name

Memorize 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (CSB) 4 Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are different activities, but the same God works all of them in each person. 7 A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good: 8 to one is given a message of wisdom through the Spirit, to another, a message of knowledge by the same Spirit, 9 to another, faith by the same Spirit, to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another, the performing of miracles, to another, prophecy, to another, distinguishing between spirits, to another, different kinds of tongues, to another, interpretation of tongues. 11 One and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as he wills.

Look again at verse 11>>>distributing to each person as he wills.

Lisa-Jo Baker writes, “Blessings are not for hoarding; they’re for forwarding.”

I’ll see you next week- Be Blessed!

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.