“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:24-25
What does it mean for us to encourage one another? As the church we are to constantly encourage each other, continue to meet together, and build each other up each and every day. So then, how do we do this?
From Scripture we are to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” meaning we are to fire each other up to go out and serve the Lord and to serve our neighbors. I think what happens too many times is that we are tempted to think “church” is the building we meet at each week. Then we are tempted to have a once a week Bible study, and then go live our lives throughout the week in our “routines.” The Church, according to Scripture, is the body of believers for those of us who trust in Jesus Christ. It has nothing to do with a building or with studies, and it has everything to do with us, we are the Church.
Don’t get me wrong here, studies are very important. We are called to read and study the Word of God daily (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2, Proverbs 4:20-22). The point is that it doesn’t stop there. The Bible speaks to us living in community with one another, and that we are different members of the same body as we make up the Church, all working together (Ephesians 4:16). That being said, we need to build each other up as the Church within a world and culture that is naturally bent against it.
I myself am not perfect at this by any means, but I have noticed time and time again how people are hungry for God and community, whether they even see it or not. It is no coincidence that when we find ourselves in isolation, that things tend to go wrong. Meaning, we are discouraged, depressed, and lonely. We can also get stuck in routines, never being challenged to love one another or do anything for Christ, but more lean towards doing things for ourselves. The great news in this is that we all have an opportunity for true and biblical community within the Church because of what Jesus did for all of us – for those who believe in Him.
Let Someone Be “Fired Up”
There are times that someone in the Church is fired up for God and they desire to do great things. They are reading and studying the Word, serving in the community, participating in the local body, and they want to do even more. Then, unfortunately, people almost try to talk them out of it without even knowing it. Things can be said like “you need to be realistic” or “you’ll calm down soon and settle in.”
There is definitely a place for wisdom and for growth in the walk of a believer, but there is an energy and zeal for Christ within the Holy Spirit that we should not try to hinder. There is no way I could go into the various motives behind people when they say phrases like that to talk someone out of going for it (conviction, lack of faith, etc.), but the point is I just want to raise awareness to see if we are doing this, not to bash one another because again, we are sinful, and won’t always get this right. However, when someone is fired up and is concerned with following what the Holy Spirit is leading them to do, we should encourage that person to go for it.
Continue Meeting Together
Scripture says “let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing.” It is extremely important for us believers to continue meeting together consistently as the Church. We can study God’s Word together, worship together, and encourage one another in what God is doing through all of us. We all have a tendency and habit at times to pull away from meeting together and that can be dangerous. Our culture speaks to a self sustaining type of lifestyle where you can make things happen on your own or take care of yourself, but that is not the way God designed us.
Let’s encourage one another to continue meeting together consistently. One disclaimer on this, meeting together can’t be the only thing we do. We can be tempted to just meet together with other believers, and then that is all we do. There is much work to be done for the Lord and many people to proclaim the Gospel to and serve. Who is to say we can’t meet together doing those things as well? We have a powerful testimony as the Church to be together and serve together.
Help Determine Passions & Desires, Then Release
If you’re wired for something and you’re passionate about it, why not think God can be glorified through it? God has given us all different desires and passions that we are to use for His glory. That is what makes up the different members of the body of Christ. For example, we all can’t be an ear or the right arm, we are all different. Helping someone determine how they are wired and what they are passionate about, is a great benefit that the Church can provide. We need to encourage others to “go for it” in these areas and be ok with not everyone looking the same. It’s a beautiful thing to see the uniqueness in each other in the way God has made us.
The Day is drawing near (Hebrews 10:25). Let’s take that for encouragement that Jesus will return, and soon. As that Day approaches, we can be more confident and bold as ever as the Church to make much of Christ, proclaim the Gospel, and to build each other up. Let’s use uplifting speech with one another, speak truth to one another, and act like the family God has intended for us to be. Let’s truly make it a habit to meet together and encourage one another to love and good works, all for the glory of God.