Previously published on 3/13/2013
“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 10:23-25
What is the purpose of the gathering of the saints? Why does the writer of Hebrews admonish us to not give up meeting together? Could this be an important detail to walking out a life of love and service?
I have a dear mentor and friend who often talks of how we are created to be interdependent upon one another. When God spoke into existence all of creation, the only thing that was “not good” was that man was alone. He needed a helper, a companion, to walk through life with him. This companion was to compliment and support him in ways he wasn’t created to function himself. As the body of Christ, we are created with complimentary gifts, personalities and talents that paint a complete picture of who Jesus is. It’s important that we “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds”. We’re made to do that for each other, to be better humans because we help each other.
Have you ever been engaged in a conversation where one good idea seems to breathe life into and feed the next? Have you ever worked with someone who gets excited about making a difference in the world? It’s amazing when ideas collide and swell to a beautiful crescendo that would have been impossible had it existed merely on its own.
Notice that the writer says to “spur one another on toward love” and then “good deeds” seems to naturally follow. Love should come first. Love paves the way for everything else. John C. Maxwell said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” It’s true. Paul says it this way in Corinthians 13:
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing…And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (I Corinthians 13:1-3; 13)
So, it’s up to us to lovingly walk alongside one another and encourage one another to love and do good deeds. What can you do to encourage those around you? Could you think of one person you could bless or encourage this week? I bet you’d find that those you encourage, in turn, build up others and spur them on to love and good deeds. It’s a beautiful thing when we love each other and walk together in service.