Wednesday 16th September
Hebrews 10 vs 24
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds,
In coming into a relationship with Jesus as Saviour we also come into a relationship with others in the body of Christ, the church. That’s why it is common and beneficial today to think of the church as a family. But like any family there are stresses and strains and complicated relationships to deal with. That said, at the end of the day we are still a family and the things that bind us in Christ ought to be stronger and deeper than the matters that mark the difference between us. A brother or sister is still all of that even when we disagree.
Here the author of the letter completes what is sometimes called the triad of faith; faith, hope and now love and it is love that must regulate and shape our relationships with one another. There are two words in this third “Let us...” statement that perhaps we can think about for a minute or two the first is “consider”. Too often we are a bit careless in our responsibility towards others and we leave them very much to their own devices as they seek to grow in faith and find their way to live a life worthy of Jesus. The author here calls us to give careful thought to how we can encourage one another on in love and good works. That means thinking first about the other person and the body of Christ as a whole. Part of that must be helping others to rise to their potential and their responsibilities in Christ; to exercise their gifts and the ministries which God has given them specifically.
The second word is a strong word, here it’s translated spur but it also has the sense of incite or provoke. We are used to thinking of these words negatively and we have still ringing in our ears the advice of our mums not to respond to provocation. I don’t know if that means we should be blunt with people but certainly we should be honest and passionate as we try to encourage others even if it means we hold one another to account. That might be painful at times but concern for one another should be the rule as we seek to drive forward love and good deeds in the family of the church. Perhaps there is a lesson in popular music and here’s a test, what year did the Hollies release this song.... “So on we go, his welfare is my concern, no burden is he to bear, we'll get there. But I know he would not encumber me he ain't heavy - he's my brother.” If that can happen in the world at large, if that concern can motivate and shape our attitudes without Christ how much more should those attitudes and that approach be developed in the family of God? The year (drum roll) was 1970. Hands up those who remember it in the charts first time round.
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