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 10:24-25
Consider: To think about carefully, with regard to taking some action; to take into account; to regard or treat in an attentive or kindly way; to gaze on steadily or reflectively (From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
What if we got up everyday and considered how to encourage others and to stir them up to love and good deeds? I am usually thinking and praying about everything that’s on my plate and planning about how I am going to get it all done. I’m not really considering all of the people I’m going to see that day and how I can encourage them, just thinking about myself.
Philippians 2:3-4 tells us that we should “do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but to consider others better than ourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” There’s that word ‘consider’ again. So what if I got up praying for the key people I live and work with and asked God to show me how to encourage them and move them to do the same thing with the people they come in contact with? My day might be others centered instead of self centered. I might get less grumpy with interruptions. It could be kind of a game to see the ripple effect, like in the movie “Pay it Forward”
How can we do that? Pray for people that God puts on your heart, or ask Him to put people on your heart. Ask Him to show you how to pray for them, and to show you what to say to speak into their circumstances, and how to encourage them. The root of the word ‘encourage’ is courage. Hebrews 10:25 says that we should get together with the purpose of encouraging, or giving courage to, one another. It takes courage for widows to face another lonely day, for parents to set godly boundaries for their kids, for bosses to make necessary decisions, or for people that are at change points to move to the unknown.
According to these verses, that’s a main reason for Christians to get together–to stir (or spur) one another on to love and good deeds, to meet together, and to encourage one another. When you go to church, go with the mission of speaking into others’ lives. Or have people over to your house, or meet them for coffee or actually call someone instead of just shooting texts to them.
“And all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” ‘The Day’ is the time that Jesus comes back. Before that happens, Matthew 24 and 2 Timothy 3-4 tell us that things will get rough, when people’s love grows cold and lawlessness abounds. The worse it gets, the more we need our Christian brothers and sisters to speak encouragement to each other.
So consider how to stir up some love and good works! And give courage to those around you today.