whc weekly word – 7/09/20

Stir Up One Another

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.

The more I read and meditate on these verses, the more I see the depth of it and what I am called to do. There is so much for us to consider in each part of this passage. Here are some things that jumped out at me.

Let us consider - First of all, the writer of Hebrews is exhorting us to consider, to give much thought to the idea of loving and encouraging one another. He doesn’t want us to just skim through this and put it off for another time or perhaps do when we feel like it. We need to be mindful and intentional about what this means for us on a continual basis. 

how – This is a call to action. It takes this exhortation from just an idea or thought and requires some type of response or action from us.  

to stir up one another – One of these actions is the idea of applying this not only to ourselves, but to stir up one another to do the same. We are to motivate each other to love, not only in words, but in our actions. We are all gifted in some way and need to use our gifts, our good works, to edify or lift up one another. If you notice, the writer doesn’t give us a list of what this looks like because it would limit us. There are so many ways that we can serve, lift up, or encourage each other.

not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some – There are restrictions imposed because of COVID-19, but this shouldn’t cause any of us to be in isolation. We all still have opportunities to be together virtually through video conferencing. Our weekly Sunday school classes give us an opportunity to see others, to discuss the sermon or bible studies and even to meet in fellowship during our 5:00pm Zoom meeting time. If you don’t know how to connect through Zoom, contact one of the pastors or Vanessa Ott. You should have also received an announcement that we are meeting this Sunday, July 12 in our church parking lot at 3:00pm for a time of worship, to observe communion and to see each other. We are complying with current state mandates which allows us to meet outdoors with up to 100 people. We purchased canopies to provide shade or protection from mild inclement weather. I know many of you miss each other and we are looking forward to being together.

encouraging one another – Encouragement comes in many forms. Some of you are doing this with a phone call, a text message, a handwritten note, dropping off treats to one another, helping someone get something done, and the list goes on. There is no limit in the ways we can encourage one another and I urge you to reach out to someone, especially to someone you see on Elexio and perhaps don’t know very well. What a great way to get to know someone.

We are instructed to do this all the more as we see the Day drawing near. We need to do this more and get better at it as we get closer and closer to Christ’s return. Every day that goes by, brings us closer to that Day, and we need to get better at getting closer to each other.

Jesus Christ was the most encouraging person to ever live and the best example for us to follow. Encouragement energizes us. It usually doesn’t cost anything but the payoff to the recipient can be priceless, so we ought to give it and keep on giving it. 

Christ is spoken of as our encourager in II Thessalonians 2:16-17: "Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation [encouragement] and good hope by grace, comfort [encourage] your hearts and establish you in every good word and work." If He does it for us we should do it for others.

Many of us are going through tough times and need encouragement. There are so many things in the world that could be a discouragement for us, but we don’t have to dwell or remain in that. We need to remind each other of the many more and better reasons to be encouraged. We must "exhort one another daily." We must become better at "stirring one another up to love and good works."  Ask yourself the following questions to see if you are equipped for encouragement.

1. Do my words of encouragement easily outweigh words of correction or         criticism?

2. Are people cheerful when I am around?  Do people want to be around           me?

3. Is it easy for me to praise others?

4. Have I been diligent to encourage those I associate with – husband/wife,       children, students, employees, brothers, sisters, fellow church members?

5. Have I been diligent to encourage those God has placed over me -                   teachers, employers, elders, pastors, church leaders, civil servants,                   government leaders? 

6. Do I pass along only good news and ignore gossip, or do I delight in                 sharing bad news?

7. Does my conversation with friends generally build people up?

8. Do I think more about giving praise than receiving it?

I Thes 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up other up, just as you are doing. 

Pastor Bryan