“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 10:24-25)
By Pastor Jim Miller
GCU Corporate Chaplain
I’ve been thinking more about this encouragement thing, about how God sends the Holy Spirit to “come alongside” us as we walk in the world and then calls us to “come alongside” each other, in essence being the Holy Spirit to others as they face, well, everything they face. #encourager is by definition #onewhocomesalongsideanotherintheirneed. I am so hip.
But this verse pivots on a truth that is essential if we’re going to take seriously the call to be a “come alongsider.” We are not to give up meeting together.
Now I’ve heard more than one preacher use this passage as a way of “motivating” people to attend church on Sunday morning. But I think that misses the mark.
The writer says that we are to put some intentional thought into how I can spur/challenge/exhort another person to love and serve the people around them and how I can “come alongside them” in order to express care and compassion when they hurt. Is there any way I can effectively do that if I am not in a “below the surface” kind of relationship with them? If I don’t know them? If we don’t have opportunity to be transparent and genuine so that we know how to come alongside?
I believe what the writer is saying here is that if you’re going to do this faith walk with Jesus, you cannot do it alone. You need the spurring and encouraging of others who know you, whom you trust, with whom you can drop the masks and allow others to see all that’s going on in your life.
This guy is saying, “Stop thinking you can do this alone! You need to invest in deep friendships with other followers of Jesus, people who will care about you, challenge you, walk with you, come alongside you.”
I have a friend who defines church this way: the people whom you call at 3 in the morning when the wheels fall off your life and everything is chaos? That’s your church!”
We cannot effectively come alongside people that we don’t know, trust and love. It’s as simple as that.
Don’t forget about the next all-employee Chapel from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, in the first floor lecture room of the 27th Avenue Office Building. Pastor Tim Griffin will be speaking.