Constant Encouragement (No. 5 in Series)

In Heb 10:25 we are given two ways of provoking one another to works of love: (1) Not forsaking the meetings where Christians gather for worship and fellowship; and (2) Exhorting one another.  Both of these, “not forsaking” and “exhorting,” are called “instrumental participles.”  You can see in English that these are participles by the use of “-ing” at the end of the words.  An instrumental participle is one that shows “how” something takes place.  It indicates “by means of.”  So, the Hebrews writer is telling believers to consider one another in order to stir-up loving deeds, and you may ask: Well, how do I do that?  The Scripture says, “By means of not forsaking the assembly and by exhorting one another.”  We have already discussed the first, so let us now discuss the second part, “Exhorting one another.”

Instead of abandoning the church, we are to exhort one another.  Exhortation means “urgent insistence” and may include the full range of meanings: rebuke, warn, encourage, comfort.  The author has already told his readers in 3:13, “Exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”  We must encourage each other in the life of faith with reminders of the sufficiency of Christ and of all His privileges.  We have to continually tell one another to not give up, to finish the race.

Healthy Christian living involves mutual encouragement, that is, encouraging other believers through your presence, your actions, and your words as well as receiving encouragement from other believers for yourself.  This takes place when we remain faithful in our association with the body of Christ.  We have to be together to accomplish this circle of encouragement.

This world beats us up.  Many of us have stressful jobs.  Health concerns in our families are difficult to manage.  Raising kids in this corrupt culture sometimes feels overwhelming.  The terrible way Christians are being treated in our country is something that many believed would never come.  In simple words, life is not easy.  We have to take one day at a time.  We must lean on the everlasting arms of God.  But, we can also lean on one another.  This is the way that the Lord has ordained for us to live—in community.  We must cheer for one another.  We must support one another in Christian love.