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Saturday, November 17, 2012

How to Encourage Other Christians

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is;
but exhorting one another: and so much the more,
as ye see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25).

These verses come on the heels of verse 23: Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised). Because we know Christ and know He is faithful, we can then help others.

Do you find yourself struggling to get through your own life? If so, you must be human. It is overwhelming, sometimes, just to get done what you need to do.

And, you might forget about others.

These verses are a reminder to consider (think about) other Christians. We’re supposed to provoke them! (Provoke is one of those English words whose meaning has changed over the years. This word actually means “inciting.” You can think of it as “stimulating” or “encouraging” someone.) We’re supposed to encourage other Christians toward love and good works.

The next verse says we can best do this by assembling ourselves together. This assembly is the same word translated as “church.” It’s talking about a local church gathering. It’s not a virtual church or an Internet “service” or a Christian chat group. It’s the actual physical meeting together of God’s people. It’s real live interaction with other Christians. It’s a mutually beneficial worship time, where we can exhort and edify one another. We also exercise our spiritual gifts in our church.

How can we encourage other Christians? Did you know that your very presence in the service helps other Christians spiritually? It even encourages your pastor! (I know; I’m a pastor’s wife.)

We have a small church. Through the years, I’ve observed Christians enter our services with long faces and many burdens. By the end of the service, their faces are happy, and it seems that, for the moment at least, their burdens are lighter. What makes the difference? It’s praising God in song, listening to a message from the Bible, praying together for people’s needs. There’s something about worshiping together that feeds the soul.

God knows this. That’s why He commands us not to slack when it comes to church attendance. It’s one of the ways we encourage (provoke) others to love and good works.

The practical lessons:
  • Consider others.
  • Provoke them (biblically!) to love and good works.
  • Go to church, so you can be an encouragement to other Christians. 

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