Devotion in Motion: Encourage yourself in the Lord

1Sa 30:6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.  1 Samuel 30:6  (KJV)  

By Bro. John L. Cash

For the past year, most of my weeks have followed a familiar pattern. On weekdays, I care for my one-year-old grandson. On weekends, I get ready to preach at the country church. I’m enjoying this season of my life but I think most of the time I would echo the sentiments of the stereotypical stay-at-home parent; “Every week is pretty much the same.”

Last week was very much an exception for me. As the workweek was winding down, Susan and I were quickly packing for a weekend trip. On Friday afternoon, I was privileged to give the benediction at the swearing-in ceremony of a family friend who had been appointed to a federal position. Leaving there, we traveled to Tupelo (up north) to take part in the Mississippi Christian Convention. On Saturday afternoon, we made a quick trip back home to have supper with some dear Christian friends. Then on Sunday morning, we had a missionary from Haiti as our guest speaker. And that evening, our congregation hosted the Fifth Sunday Singing and had our sister congregations as our guests.

Compared to our usual pattern, the weekend was a bit of a whirlwind. We participated in a wide variety of activities in many different venues. But at each place we were focused on spiritual things that nourish the soul;  singing praise to God, being instructed from God’s Word, being challenged to deeper Christian service, and sharing food and fellowship with Christian loved ones.

And though I expected to feel exhausted at the conclusion of it all, my feelings were quite the opposite. I started the new week feeling refreshed and encouraged in the Lord. I guess I’d forgotten what a difference encouragement and fellowship could make in my life.

Because of this, I’m plotting a new plan of action. Whenever I’m feeling blue or stuck in a rut or unspiritual, there’s no value in bemoaning the fact of my spiritual dullness. Instead, I should take advantage of every spiritual resource available to me — and the world is full of them. In today’s Scripture lesson (at the top), we read that King David “encouraged himself in the Lord.” This week, renew your spiritual vigor by taking time to encourage yourself, too.

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 32 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He’s a retired Mississippi public schoolteacher with grown sons, and is now a stay-at-home-grandpa with his grandson, Landon Cash. He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in a brick house in town (where the weather almost hit 90 degrees this week.) You can send him a note at

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