Connecting and Encouraging

Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Romans 15:1
God puts people in our paths daily who need to be encouraged, need someone to listen, or who need someone to come alongside them to walk through a valley. Everyone needs someone to help them in their journey of faith. Everyone needs to connect relationally with another person.
Jesus taught those who followed Him, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Mark 8:34 and Luke 9:23. The person who can deny himself, deny his own pleasures, his own agenda, his own desires, and focus on the needs of others is the one who can enter into a joint venture with those who are weak and without strength.
Paul taught the same thing. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
If our focus in life is on others rather than ourselves, we will be blessed. Romans 15:3a tells us, “for even Christ did not please Himself.”  Many people today think  more stuff will make them happy. We invest our time and energy in stuff. We think, “If I could just have this_________, I would be happy. Many times when we get the desire we thought would make us happy, we wind up disappointed and disillusioned because it didn’t.
Learning how to bless others fills us up. Jesus taught his followers and disciples to love and serve one another. Jesus was the model for a life of service.  We must always live for a purpose and a pleasure bigger than ourselves. We will be blessed because “we will be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6.