Dear Bros in Christ, Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Brothers in Christ, this monthly devotional is sent and meant to be an encouragement to all and to build up and edify in the Lord Jesus Christ. Oikodome means "Builder". The Lord has put this on my heart to send out a monthly Iron Man Oikodome {oy-kod-om-ay'} to build up and encourage the men who love and follow Jesus Christ in their walk with Him. Romans 14:19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Hebrews 3:13 "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." JUNE 2008 “ENCOURAGEMENT” Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Hebrews 3:13 "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Have you ever noticed when you are down or discouraged how a few words of encouragement shared with you can change your whole attitude and outlook? It can change your countenance in a split second and to be able to be someone who God has given the gift as an Encourager is so powerful and more so to be the receiver of those encouraging words. What an effect the words of an encourager can have upon us. I read a story about some amateur runners in a small town who were in a triathlon and a lot of them said that they wanted to quit running the race because they were so discouraged and did not think they could make it to the finish because it was so brutal on them, however most of them did finish and the reason they said they made the finish line was not because they were superb athletes, but because of encouragement they received from complete strangers standing along the route along the way. People were cheering them on telling them not to give up that they were so close to the finish line and that they were doing great and they could make it to keep going to cross that finish line. A lot of times in our lives in the struggles we go through, the trials we are facing, the financial strains- unpaid bills, escalading costs of everything, the troublesome relationships we might be in, the children that are giving our hearts grieve, job security or a boss who seems to not like you and has it in for you, not knowing or understanding what God is doing in your life you want to quit every one of these races that are going on in your life those things that are pressing in on us and seem so unbearable we feel like those runners we are ready to quit, throw in the towel, walk away from it all, bail out and not look back, not even try an debate it in our mind let alone even consider praying but just stop and drop it like a bad transmission…even when we are so close to the finish line. I too have felt like that many times in my life. But God does not want us to give up so easily but to persevere, in fact if you look closely at your life you will see Him along the route of your life races He is there cheering you along with prayers and words of encouragement and love, in most cases you will find Him carrying you across that finish line in those times when you cried out for help, yeah that was the Lord that got you through that... You will see Him send encouragement through a friend or a perfect stranger that He sent to give you a message of encouragement a word to change your countenance and attitude to lift you up so you so you can run the race with endurance. Have you ever received that phone call from an old friend or ran into someone you have not spoken to in a long while and the first thing out of theirs mouths is great words of encouragement and comfort that you needed to hear to make it through the race towards the finish line, Gods cheerleaders along the route of our lives…. Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver. Bros if you are discouraged right now, and feel a lot of the excess weights of life dragging you down, don’t be, the Lord Jesus Christ loves you and He knows your heart and how heavy it might be right now. If you are ever doubting that Jesus can love you and does love you right now or feeling so discouraged from the weight that has ensnared you as you are running the race towards our Lord Jesus Christ remember right now this second Jesus going to the Cross. Think of Jesus hanging on that Cross looking out into that small group that was gathered there before Him on Calvary as He was giving His life up for you and me. For us if that were to be one of us up on that cross we would be pretty discouraged because it would mean death our life was over, especially because without Jesus going to the cross in our place it would have been over... but because He did go in our place is the very reason we are able to be here today, so be encouraged. But also when Jesus died on that cross for you and me it meant life is just beginning for us, rejoice! His death meant life eternally for you and me we were going to live forever with Jesus, He died so we could live that’s how much He loves you bro. Picture yourself at the foot of that cross as Jesus was hanging there suffering for our sins, looking out at you and me in that small group gathered there knowing all of our struggles, thoughts, our hearts and the things we have done in our lives and

remember and see how much He loves you bro. Be encouraged today as you remember our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and how committed He is to you and really how He showed that commitment of His love for you, how He persevered even to the point of death. And even after dying and rising from the dead for us He is forever saying come with me, look to Me, follow Me, obey Me, believe in Me and receive eternal life I will carry you, I will strengthen you when you are weak, I will comfort you and give you My peace that surpasses all understanding. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 Bros, I want to leave you with some scriptures that have encouraged me and I know they will be an encouragement to you as well as you meditate on what Jesus did for you and may you be encouraged and lifted up as the Lord ministers to you through His Holy Spirit and through His Word. Psalm 23 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever. Psalm 42:6-11 O my God, my soul is cast down within me; Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, And from the heights of Hermon, From the Hill Mizar. 7 Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me. 8 The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me-- A prayer to the God of my life. 9 I will say to God my Rock, "Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?" 10 As with a breaking of my bones, My enemies reproach me, While they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" 11 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God. Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. Matthew 5:11, 12 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 2 Corinthians 4:8-18 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-- 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you. 13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed and therefore I spoke," we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Bros, I pray the Lord encourages and lifts you up right where you are at today through His Love for you and towards you and the love that is in you through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior forever- Amen! Be encouraged because Jesus loves you Bro, Daniel Wright Iron Man Oikodome Proverbs 27:17
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