Spurring one another on. That’s the responsibility of every follower of Jesus.
The writer to the Hebrews says: “…let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…”
Affirmation. A word of encouragement can move others toward love and good deeds.
Correction. Sometimes fellow Christians need to be admonished lovingly to change their behavior.
Example. By living a life that exemplifies authentic godliness – other believers will follow the good model you provide.
Inspiration. Speak often of the great truths of God’s Word. Your expressed thoughts will be both motivational and instructive.
Prayer. It is prayer that will release divine power in the lives of others.
Love and good deeds – that’s the goal.
Without. That word indicates absence or omission.
Without food…people starve. Without oxygen…people can’t breathe. Without shelter…people will suffer.
So…without deals with ultimate realities.
The writer to the Hebrews spoke of these realities.
“…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
“…without faith it is impossible to please God…”
“…without holiness no one will see the Lord.”
Some things are important…but not indispensable – like understanding…personality…attitude. God’s grace can cover such inadequacies.
But…if you want to be forgiven…or see God…and please God – then you need saving blood…faith…and holiness.
Here are three essentials you cannot do without.
The holiness of God. His ultimate purity is beyond comprehension.
Since the fall…mankind has lost the ability to think beyond the blend of good and evil. It is as if there is a blindness obscuring true purity.
It is time for the church to earnestly pray for a revival of holiness – both as it describes God’s nature…and as He requires it of His people.
The writer to the Hebrews states it clearly: “…without holiness no one will see the Lord.”
Sadly…accommodating to the ways of the world is the trend. What was once thought to be offensive to God…is now embraced as acceptable.
Ask the Lord for a fresh revelation of His holiness.
Drifting. That must be avoided at all cost.
A ship in dock without an anchor is subject to the shifting currents and the forces of the wind. In time…shipwreck is inevitable.
The writer to the Hebrews applies this imagery to the walk of faith. “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”
So…what is the anchor that will keep you from drifting? The passage goes on. It is the message of salvation – announced by Jesus…confirmed by the disciples…and validated by signs and wonders.
What are some of the forces that cause drifting? Indifference. Preoccupation. Compromise. Confused priorities. Unbelief. And more.
Today…drop the anchor. Resist every force that can cause drifting.
And…keep your eyes on Jesus.
Letter and spirit. Both are essential – when you study God’s Word.
Jesus said “Thou shalt not kill.” That’s letter. Then He said: “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.” That’s spirit.
Or when Jesus said: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” That’s letter. But He goes on: “…I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery.” That’s spirit.
Sadly…some have a good grasp of Scripture – but their conduct and behavior does not reflect the message of Scripture.
They are strong on letter…but weak on spirit.
Make it the commitment of your heart to be strong in both the letter and spirit of God’s Word.
For such a time as this. This relates to a person of destiny.
Queen Esther’s people were about to be annihilated…but she appealed to the king – and her people were spared.
Her Uncle Mordecai told her: “…you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.”
The same is true for every follower of Jesus.
Life is not incidental or coincidental – but is ordered of the Lord. From before your conception…there was a divine plan for your life. You too have come…for such a time as this.
You may feel your life is unimportant…routine…of little significance. Not so.
In fact…there is no one else who can take your place. God’s assignment is yours to fulfill – yours alone.
You have come…for such a time as this.
How quickly we forget. And…that must be offensive to God.
Within days following the parting of the Red Sea “…the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.”
And…this attitude became common in the history of Israel.
So quickly…God’s people forgot the miraculous deeds He did for them.
And…the same can be true in our day. The hand of God is displayed in supernatural ways…but so quickly people forget.
Consider the miracle of your conversion…an occasion when your life was spared…or when God miraculously met your need.
Be careful never to forget.
Live each day with a keen awareness of God’s miraculous power demonstrated in your life.
Opportunities afforded by adversity. This truth will put meaning into life’s difficult times.
The Israelites were trapped between Pharaoh’s armies and the Red Sea. But…it provided an opportunity for God to part the waters – for His honor and glory.
The king decreed that anyone who did not bow down to his image would be thrown into the lion’s den. But Daniel refused…and God delivered him from the lion’s mouths – for His honor and glory.
Paul and Silas refused to stop preaching and were imprisoned for their decision. But…God gave them a great victory – for His honor and glory.
The trial you may now be facing provides an opportunity for God to do a great work – for His honor and glory.
Rejoice and be glad. God is with you.
Stupidity. People in rebellion do stupid things.
King Saul defeated the Amalekites…but kept back some of the livestock – in direct violation of Samuel’s instruction.
When Samuel arrived…he heard the lowing of the cattle and the bleating of the sheep. Did Saul think Samuel would not catch on?
Aaron explained to Moses that he had tossed the gold into the fire…and out came the golden calf. Did Aaron think Moses would believe him?
People then — and now — do stupid things when they are in disobedience.
An unfaithful spouse thinks it’s all hidden. A rebellious teen assumes mom and dad will never know. Dishonest people in high places assume they will get by.
So…never fall for stupidity – but live a life of obedience to God and His Word.
The spirit world. That sounds mystical and ethereal.
But…nothing could be further from the truth. In fact…the spirit world is more real than the physical world – it existed before the universe was created.
Paul speaks of the spirit world: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
This world is a busy place. But…at the same time…much is going on in the spirit world.
The eyes of the Lord are on all that is happening. And…the principalities and powers are under His authority.
Regardless of your circumstances…be encouraged that Jesus is Lord of all. All principalities and powers must bow to Him.