Click here to read the introduction to this month's series.
Yesterday I defined encouragement so we're on the same page for the series: the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope that is grounded in Christ and points them to Him. Such a definition kinda makes me shake in my boots! To encourage in this way requires significant insight, knowledge, and good, old fashioned loving my neighbor as myself. Do you feel like you have as much to learn and need as much character change and practice as I do?
On Saturday I will stand before a group of moms and share about Encouraging One Another. When I chose this topic from the list of options, I immediately thought of these verses and settled on them as my main text.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:19-25
Some of my new readers might be at the conference this weekend, so I will try not to overlap too much with things I will be saying! But most of you will not, so I want to let you in on the content through the month. The more I think about encouragement the more convinced I am of how critical it is for every human being. I mean, who doesn't want someone to come alongside her to cheer her on, tell her there's hope, and keep her focused on what matters?
The primary thing I want to point out today is that these word are written to God's people. This passage is not talking about the gift of encouragement, as mentioned in other passages in the New Testament. Nope. Here the author directs his words at believers, telling them all to spur one another on, meet together, and encourage one another.
I believe all of those things are connected and interrelated, so more on that is to come. For today, however, let's think about this calling to be encouraging one another. Have you considered that you can encourage others? Does the thought excite or scare you, or somewhere in between? Based on this passage, I believe Christians can and should encourage one another. (The great reasons why and many ways we can learn how to will come in future posts.)
You might be longing for encouragement for yourself today, and I pray the Lord brings an encourager your way! Yet regardless of how much we ourselves may be needing encouragement, we can be ministers of encouragement to those around us. Tomorrow we'll dig into this passage a little more to get at how that could be.
Till then, walk in His way. And may God open your eyes to see how you, in Him, can be a source of encouragement to another.