New Life Sunday – Reassurance or exhortation…

This Sunday I want to talk about the difference between reassurance and exhortation. These concepts have the potential to look similar, but in 1 John 2-3 they are very different.
 
Reassurance is what we do when someone is already doing the right things. Reassurance can take the form of a pat on the back, a note of affirmation or a simple, “keep it up.”
 
Exhortation on the other hand is a call for someone to start doing the right things. Exhortation can take the form of a kick in the pants, a plea to start moving or a simple, “come on, let’s go.”
 
As parents, we move between  reassurance and exhortation many times without even realizing it. Here is how it looks:
 
Reassurance — Hey buddy you’re doing so great cleaning up your toys. You are so smart and strong and wow….you are fast…I am so proud of you. Keep it up!
 
Exhortation — Hey buddy, you really need to pick up your toys. When you are done, the floor will be clean and I will let you to watch a favorite show.
 
As a soccer coach, the type of communication typically follows the score of the game. If we are winning, most communication is reassurance. If we are losing, it’s definitely exhortation. Here is how it looks:
 
Reassurance — You girls are awesome! I am so proud of you! You are hustling and winning the ball!  Keep it up!
 
Exhortation — (Insert name), you need to pick it up. They are beating you to the ball. Come on, we need you to step it up a bit. Do you want to win? Let’s go! Think about what it will feel like to win…
 
This week we will study from 1 John 2:28-3:3. John moves from reassurance to exhortation. In 1 John 2:18-27, the Apostle John is assuring the Christians that they have an eternal abiding faith…they have an annointing and need to stay under the apostles teaching. This week, we move into an exhortation. They clearly have eternal security, but they also have a responsibility to “abide in Christ”, and John is clearly communicating what it will look like if they stick with their faith.
 
I hope you can attend New Life tomorrow, so we can unpack these verses together.
 
Have a great evening!
Troy

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