Joseph Priestly left college believing he was called to serve God as a minister. However, he soon became uncomfortable with this calling and decided to teach school. One day Benjamin Franklin visited his classroom and was very impressed with his teaching skills. At the conclusion of the class he said to Priestly, “I believe that you have the abilities to write a history of electricity. I’ll help you by lending you my books and notes.”
Encouraged by the generosity of Mr. Franklin, he accepted the challenge and immediately began writing a book on the history of electricity. He was so enthusiastic and excited about this project that he researched and wrote the entire book in one year. This inspired him to dedicate his life to scientific research. His research led him to the discovery of oxygen. He is also credited with developing the first carbon dioxide fire extinguisher. All because of the encouraging words of Franklin.
Paul recognized the important role of encouraging others. In his letter to the Thessalonians he encouraged them to “encourage each other and build each other up!”
At the end of a long race the runners often speak of muscles that are cramping or throats that are parched and burning as their body is about to collapse. But then the crowd begins to shout, “You can do it – keep it up – you are going to make it!” Those few words of encouragement are all they need to finish well. Be an encourager today.
Prayer: Help us, Heavenly Father, to be alert to those around us who need a word of strength, hope or love to persevere in the face of adversity. Make us Your encouragers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

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