Yesterday I received a kind note of encouragement from a friend. It was only about three sentences long but the Lord used it to stir some much-needed strength in my soul. Receiving the note led me to open up my Bible and dig around to see what the Lord says to us about encouragement. As I read passage after passage, I was struck by how vital this expression of love is for God’s people. In one sense, encouragement is like oxygen in the life of a church. It keeps hearts beating, minds clear, and hands inspired to serve.