This is the 6th article in a series taken from the book of Hebrews examining some of the statements that begin with”let us…” Each of these statements are intended to shake lethargic believers into spiritual action. They are for each of us individually, but specifically apply to a joint venture by fellow Christians. The previous 5 articles are:
To aid our memory I refer to each of these as a head of lettuce in a garden. Get it: lettuce – let us? This 6th head of lettuce is Let Us Stir Up.
Have you ever considered whether it is really important to attend and be part of a church? Sure you have. Recent studies indicate what we all really know. Americans are more interested in spirituality, but less interested in the church. We kind of pick and choose what parts of spirituality we want and leave the rest. If we are honest, we would say that we pick the parts that we think make us more in tune with God, and somehow the church doesn’t seem to factor into this. We have all seen the hypocrisy and error in church (sadly, I’ve contributed to that). But the writer of Hebrews is reminding us that we have much to gain by joining together with fellow believers.
And 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.
Notice the following:
1. We are to give careful thought (consider how) we might stir up one another to love and good works. The KJV translated this with how we might “provoke” one another. Some have taken the wrong use of that word to heart. We are to provoke or stir up others to love and good works. Not just provoke them. Do you anticipate Sundays and how you might stir up somebody else to love and good works?
2. This is a mutual admonition. That is, when we attend we also will be stirred up to love and good works. Hearing the word of God proclaimed in the company of other Christians will do this. Singing together the great truths of who God is and what he has done will do this. Praying together will do this. Sharing at the Lord’s table will do this.
3. We must not neglect this. To neglect is to not pay proper attention to something. Joining with other believers should be something which has our attention. We are focused on it. It is not that we might intentionally decide not to attend, it’s just not on our radar.
4. It can easily become a habit. I know this too well. I grew up in church. I served for years in the church. Seldom did I miss a scheduled church service. After leaving the ministry I became reluctant to get too involved in church life. I am the one that missed out. I so enjoy standing and sitting next to my wife while we join in with others in the worship of our great God. As not attending can become a habit, so can attending. Attend a time or two and it’s becomes more of a pattern for life.
5. The results of our stirring up each other are love, good works and encouragement. All are worthwhile benefits.
6. The later we are in history, the more we should do this. The day of the Lord is much closer to us than when Hebrews was written. We are to prepare ourselves for the time when we stand before the Lord.
So let us stir up each other.