Building One Another

E. Stanley Ott


January 5, 2012

Dear Friend,

It is so easy at the beginning of a new year to find ourselves so immersed in the pressing demands of the moment that “large life-building thoughts for the coming year,” much less any “resolutions” we may have considered, are quickly washed away.


Nevertheless, when the Apostle Paul wrote his dear friends in the town of Corinth, he offered the kinds of large life-building thoughts that may wonderfully shape our lives and the lives of those we are with.


“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” II Corinthians 1:3-4*


I love this.  The New Testament words translated, “comfort” are variations of one of my favorite such words – paraclete – which literally refers to “one who comes alongside to help.”


There is plenty going on in my life and yours where the certain knowledge that our Lord knows and cares and comes alongside – to help – right here right now – the whole way – is huge.


At the same time Paul is direct.  The comfort, the coming alongside-ness that we experience from our Lord isn’t to stop with us.  He wants to come alongside others through us.


Who do you know who is in a rough spot?  Have you come alongside?  Do they know it?  Are you alongside in person or by phone or email or Facebook update or text?  Do they know your presence in their life and more than that does your presence help?


May this year be one in which you are always aware of this double alongside experience – our Lord alongside you and you alongside others – to help.


With joy - E. Stanley Ott

Copyright 2012 E. Stanley Ott

*Scripture from the NIV