Devotional: ‘Coming Along Side of Each Other’

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Life can be very difficult sometimes. Not only are there trials to face, but temptation as well. If we are not careful, we can be drawn away from our faith in God. The purpose of the book of Hebrews is to warn us of these dangers and to encourage us to draw near to our Lord and Savior.

There are many ways in which the Savior imparts to us His strength. He does so through the PRESENCE of the Holy Spirit. Scripture says that the Spirit abides within the heart of every believer and He has been sent to assist us as we walk through life.

In addition to the presence of the Holy Spirit, we have also the PROMISES of God’s Word. Peter writes – “He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires.” (2 Pet 1:4 CSB)

God has also give us PRAYER. Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us… 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…”

There is another great avenue of strength that God has given to us. He has given us His PEOPLE. Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 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.

Some Christians think that involvement in a local church is optional. They believe that they can worship God just as well at home by themselves as they can with a group of other believers. It is true, we can worship God anywhere and at any time; yet the Bible strongly encourages us to faithful and active in the local church. Why is our involvement in the local church so important?

First of all it is important for ‘stimulation.’ “…let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works…” Even in the original Greek, the word ‘provoke’ is a strange word for the author to use here. It can mean: {to irritate, to provoke, to arouse to anger}. Is the author encouraging us to stir up trouble? Obviously not. The word can also mean: {to stimulate, to spur on, to urge}. The church should be a place where each and every time we get together, we should be cheering each other on.

There are several ways we can cheer each other on to produce love and good works. We can do so through our Bible teaching. We can do so by our personal example. We can also do so by our general conversation. We can also do so by our presence and involvement. We can also do so by our concern and prayers. There are many ways you and I can act like spiritual cheerleaders; however, we can’t do so if we are not meeting together. We can’t stimulate or be stimulated if we fail to associate with each other.

Secondly, it is important for ‘exhortation.’ Much like the work of ‘stimulation’, ‘exhortation’ involves interaction. Literally the word means to come along side of someone and to encourage.

Recently I was praying with a brother in Christ and during his prayers, he brought so much strength and encouragement to my heart that I had to take a pen and piece of paper and write down many of the things he was saying. No doubt many of the things he was praying will help to influence what I preach.

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