Our family is sick right now. Seems like we have been sick alot lately. We stayed home from church and eventually made it up for breakfast and watched some preaching by David Jeremiah on TV. This man has often encouraged me, and edified me as I listen to him often on the radio. This morning he was talking about a man who took his little girl on a daddy-daugther date. He decided that before they dug into their pancakes that he would tell this precious little girl how much that she meant to him and his wife. He leaned in and filled her little ears with sweet words of encouragment and love and appreciation. He then picked up his fork to eat. His daughter spoke up and said, “Daddy more.” So he leaned in to talk to her some more about how special she was . . . believing her tank was full, he grabbed his fork again and began to put food in his mouth,when she said, “Daddy More”. He didn’t eat much that morning, but  his daugther went home and said, “Mommy, I’m a really special daughter . . . Daddy told me so!”

This really struck me for two reasons. First, as most of you know, I’m the father of two little girls. My girls need me to refresh them, and encourage them and build them so desperately. They need to know they are loved and worth my atttention.  I have also been reading, “Raising Up Girls”, by Dr. Dobson. He speaks alot about how little girls need to get a feeling that they are special, and captivating, and worthy attention from their Dad. I need to give them attention, and then communicate that I am captivated by who they are. This refreshes them, and builds them up, and teaches them that they have a Heavenly Father that is nuts about them.

The second reason that this sermon really struck me is that he said, “No one ever says that I am too encouraged.” People are walking around with sick hearts, and empty tanks that can only be filled with the truth and love of God. Proverbs 13:12  says that, ” hope deferred makes a man sick, but a longing fulfilled is tree of life.” So many people have sick hearts and need a deep longing of feeling special, and loved, and needed to be filled. Proverbs 12:25, “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” We are surrounded by people who are wieghed down that need our kind words! As we are struggling to keep our head up, and keep following Jesus, and getting overwhelmed, remember those around you need encouragement probably even more than you do.

 Oh how I want my wife, daughters, extended family, friends, and enemies to say of me, “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, Joseph, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people” Philemon 1:7). I Thessalonians 5:11 and Ephesians 4:29 both talk about, building each other up. The people around us need to be built into bold, loving,compassionate, faith-filled people, and we can be used by God to build this into them with our words and actions. Think about how the words and actions of others have built your faith and hope. Can you also remember how low you get when you find yourself in an encouragment drought, when you can’t remember the last time anything built you up, and seems like everything is tearing you down. Many times I have seen the church’s job as a war to build people up while everything else in their lives is tearing them down. Ephesians 4:11-16 speaks of the body functioning in teaching truth in love so that the Body grows into Christ who holds the church together, and grows it up in love as each member does its work.

I work for a vending company, and we have a very sophisticated satillite system that tells us information conerning our vending machines. One of the things that we are told is when the machine is getting empty, so that the machine can be scheduled to be filled quickly. Oh how closely these machines are monitored, and oh how quickly are these machines scheduled and filled. We go to the machines and fill the empty spots with new food, we build it back up to par. You know we need to be so concerned with filling the people in our lives with truth, love, appreciation, joy, peace, and other good things. Are the people around you running on empty and need to be built back up to par? Lets open our eyes and tune into the Holy Spirit and let Him use us to fill people up. Think of some people that need your attention and encouragment, and then go bless their socks off! You will most likely be shocked how much they needed it.