And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Last year I was asked to be the main speaker at a college retreat. Needless to say, I was nervous about sharing God’s word with college students, who in some areas probably know much more than I do. During our worship on Sunday morning, the students were asked to share a verse of hope. It was to be a verse that God had used to help them through the course of life and could serve as an encouragement to someone else.
I was amazed. One by one, students from different backgrounds and faith histories began to share verses and stories. They opened up about the hurts in their lives, some broke out in tears, and many-including myself, were deeply touched by the sharing. I couldn’t help but think to myself, could this be the early church? Did they sit around sharing stories and messages that Jesus or one of the disciples had shared with them? Did they share stories about the courage of Caleb, the mistakes and redemption of David, and tie it to their own little mission and purpose? Did they constantly remind each other that sacrifices were no longer needed because Jesus was their sacrifice?Truth is, that’s exactly what the author of Hebrews was trying to encourage the believers to do! The book of Hebrews was written to encourage primarily Jewish converts who were being tempted to put works in the place of the Gospel. Maybe they should continue to sacrifice animals, or maybe circumcision should still be required. These Christians needed reminders and encouragement. So, the author of Hebrews demonstrated the truth that Jesus is the one sacrifice and that no other sacrifice is needed. Jesus as priest and lamb intercedes and sacrificed Himself on our behalf. In Hebrews 10, the author reminds them (and us) to encourage one another in the truth that Jesus is all we need.Whatever program, mission or ministry you may be starting, I hope that you take time in your leadership groups to share God’s life-giving words with one another. Remind each other of the hope we have received and the ways that God is working in our personal lives. Share life with one another!
I know what you’re saying it’s easier for college students to do it. Getting full-grown adults to open up is impossible! Last week I asked my Youth Guide Team to put together a timeline of their faith story. Believe me, they dragged their feet more than my high school students. They were so afraid that they didn’t have any significant life changing moments to share. As we began sharing our timelines, we all found that there were many little moments, influences and words that had moved us closer to Jesus. One couple remarked that they had learned new things about each other and discovered the positive spiritual influence that both played in each others lives! That’s sharing life with one another! Find someone today that you can talk with about God’s Word and His sweetness in your life. The message of Hebrews isn’t just for believers long gone, the message is for us too! Encourage each other, meet together, share life with one another!