Hebrews 10:24-25 ~ "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."
There is a consideration necessary for every Christian--how can we be a mutual encouragement to one another? To "consider" is to have a way of thinking--literally, we must think this way. So the question posed to you--when you are in fellowship with other believers, is your first thought how you can be a source of value to them?
There are two considerations revealed in this text: to stir up one another to love, and to stir up one another to good deeds. The first is to Christ-like character, the second is to Christ-like behavior.
It is important to note that the attention of each believer must be outward and not inward focused. It is a "one another" mentality, and not an "about me" way of thinking. So, consider the means by which people go seeking out a fellowship of believers. When questions like "does it meet my needs" become the standard by which a fellowship is evaluated, we have stepped outside the real consideration.
There are important questions to ask before becoming involved in a local church--and at the top of the list is how they handle the Word of God. Is the Scripture the authority for their faith, or do they have a worldly mindset when it comes to Christianity? Do they strive to worship and serve the Lord or to entertain and attract a crowd? If the parameters for a Biblical fellowship are met, then the question at hand must move from what can you get to what can you contribute.
With the parameters met for a Biblical fellowship, it is necessary to move on to the question at hand: how do you stir up other believers toward love and good deeds? There are two ways given in the text: meet together and encourage one another.
It seems relatively simple, but how often are these two actions neglected in many church fellowships? It is emphasized in the text that the first one mentioned--meeting together--had already become neglected by some. It was so neglected, in fact, that it was described as a "habit."
But the gathered fellowship of the redeemed of the Lord is of remarkable importance. In the gathering is where the instruction of the word of God is found, mutual prayer is voiced, the worship of Christ is expressed, and the ordinances given by the Lord are experienced. Not everyone can enjoy the weekly gathering of the church, either because of illness, injury or infirmity. But when you do gather together, it becomes the means by which you can stir up one another toward love and good deeds. You can't stir up anything if you neglect the fellowship.
The second means by which we can stir up one another toward love and good deeds is to encourage one another--with a focus on the Day of the Lord approaching. People can become downcast, morose, depressed, anxious and fearful in our day and age. Circumstances can become hard, persecutions painful, and without that mutual encouragement, a believer may fall into the dangerous dungeon of despair.
But you, believer, have a greater hope, a more certain future with the Lord, a remembrance that God will rectify all things for His glory and the good of those who know and love Jesus. And you can come alongside those who are walking in the shadows and help them again see the light.
So, beloved, there is great value in the fellowship of believers. But that value is only experienced when we look outside ourselves and seek to be an encouragement and support for those who walk beside us in Christ.
In His Grace,
From the Mountains to the Sea
Every step we take on this journey called life ought to be used for greater understanding. I've lived from the mountains to the sea, and this blog is my personal thoughts and observations with a desire for Biblical understanding. Welcome.