By Brooke Holt
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 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.” - Hebrews 10:23-25
Yesterday, we considered how the Lord calls us to draw near to him in holy confidence through his Son Jesus Christ. Today, the writer of Hebrews gives three exhortations: hold fast to the confession of hope, stir up one another to love and good works, and don’t neglect to meet with the body of Christ.
As Christians, it can sometimes seem too good to be true that all our sins are forgiven and that we are constantly invited to draw near to God. What is much more natural to our flesh is guilt, condemnation, pride, or insecurity. The Lord calls us to relinquish those things to embrace our God-confidence and to continue in the process of living into that truth. When that feels beyond our comprehension, we must look to others to remind us, encourage us, and stand with us.
Beyond drawing near to God, we are reminded that we are to draw near to God’s people. The Lord knows that our flesh is weak. He knows that we get discouraged and tired. Disconnection from the body of Christ leaves us incredibly vulnerable to succumbing to that discouragement. When our minds move out of the truth of the Gospel, our brothers and sisters are there to remind us of that truth. The truth that on our good days and our bad days, God loves us, and he is not angry or disappointed with us. We are forgiven of all our sins and wanted in his kingdom.
As God’s children, we are to encourage each other to become the men and women God created us to be. Again, it can be so easy to forget or to become distracted by the things of this world. Sometimes we need our brothers to remind us of what it means to live as God’s children. We need our sisters to love us, nurture us, and teach us the truth and grace of the Lord. When we are weak, they can be strong for us as we can then do for them.
While many of God’s people are not meeting together these days due to the pandemic and other restraints, the writer of Hebrews will remind us that we must find ways to connect. We must find ways to give and to receive from the body of Christ. We are not meant to walk this path alone, no matter how strong we may feel in our faith. God’s people need you, and you need God’s people!
Stir one another up for good works; build the kingdom of God; encourage one another; enjoy the fellowship of God’s people; and remember that we will spend an eternity together worshipping the Lord. In other words, practice here and now for what is to come.
Are you living in the power of fellowship? Are you encouraging others and receiving the encouragement of others? How could you embrace this fellowship more fully today? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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