Hebrews 3: See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.
The Christian faith is best lived in communion with other believers. God never meant his people to live their faith in a vacuum, but to live with those who will encourage us and whom we can encourage. That word is interesting in the Greek language. It literally means to call someone to your side. Encouragement is what a teacher does when she notices a student is slacking off and not doing his best. Encouragement is what a parent does when he sees his son running with the wrong crowd and warns him where that will end up. It’s what a coach does at half time when his teams has taken a beating.
What does it look like in a Christian congregation? It’s what a pastor does when his confirmand stops coming to church. It’s what a Christian friend does when he sees his friend entangled with the sins of the world. It’s what an uncle does when he sees his nephew drifting away from God’s Word. It’s what a sister does when she sees her brother devastated by the death of his wife. We cannot stand by and watch Satan pick us off one by one. We hang together in Christian community and we encourage one another.
Do you catch the sense of urgency in these words? As long as it is called, “Today,” the writer to the Hebrews says. Maybe you’ve waited to have that conversation with your fellow believer who is drifting. Satan is tempting you to wait just a little longer. “Maybe the problem will resolve itself,” you think. But what if there is no tomorrow? God has put us together in Christian community to watch out for each other. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Today!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the Christian brothers and sisters with whom I worship and live my faith. In times of sorrow, their words of comfort have lifted me up. In times of tempting, their words have kept me on my course. In times of boastfulness and pride, their words have humbled me. Give me the courage and wisdom to be an encourager of others, not tomorrow, but today! I pray the words I have today for the pastors of this growing church In N**** will encourage them in their work. Amen.