“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:13)
Who among us does not know of at least one, if not several believers, who are in danger of becoming hardened by sin? Just this morning, as I was praying, the Spirit laid certain individuals on my heart and I spent time praying for them.
Scripture speaks of such a man by the name of Demas. At one point in his life, Demas was a companion and fellow laborer of the Apostle Paul. (see Philemon 1:24) But scripture says that a love for this world overshadowed his commitment to Christ and somehow he drifted away. (see 2 Timothy 4:10)
In today’s passage of scripture, we see several important elements of spiritual encouragement:
1) There is the Need for Constant Encouragement
Each of us needs encouragement and each of us needs to be an encourager. Therefore, there is the constant need for encouragement each and every day.
2) There is the Need for Immediate Encouragement
“…encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today.” According to this passage of scripture, sin can have a dulling affect upon our spiritual sensitivity. Sin can make us cold and calloused. Therefore, we must respond immediately whenever we feel like a fellow believer is in danger of drifting away. The longer they stay in sin, the more ingrained it will become in their living.
3) There is Also the Need for Faithful Encouragement
The word ‘encourage’ has a rich meaning. First of all, it means to come alongside of someone in order to help them. Sometimes we can encourage from a distance, but often it takes our personal involvement.
In addition, the word encourage means to bring comfort, instruction, and strength. Those who have been hardened by the deceitfulness of sin need someone to minister to them. Such ministry may involve comfort and guidance, as well as support and strength. Sometimes our encouragement may even require some rebuke.