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Encourage one another daily

Posted by on Mar 1, 2011 in community, discipleship, edification | 6 comments

Encourage one another daily

On this blog, I write alot about the church. I mean, the title of the blog is “The Assembling of the Church,” so what else should you expect.

But, sometimes, we can all fall into the trap of thinking of the assembling of the church as a once per week thing (or even twice or three times).

However, when we read Scripture, we see a different picture. Consider just this one snippet of Scripture from the Book of Hebrews:

But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:13 ESV)

In that passage, the author tells his readers to help one another so that they (individually or together) do not become hardened to sin. But, to the point of this post, he tells them to do this daily. Not weekly; but daily.

When reading through Scripture, it doesn’t take long to see a pattern: we need each other in our lives daily. Getting together once per week – even in a highly participatory meeting – will not give us opportunities to love, teach, care, share, admonish, encourage, etc. one another as we need for our spiritual growth.

No. The interaction must be more often and more personal than we see in most church meetings. We need others to ask us the hard questions about our own lives, and we need to ask others hard questions about their lives.

Of course, this all assumes that we are willing to share our lives with one another, and that we are willing to make the extra effort (and give up much personal or family time and energy and resources). To be honest, many are not willing. Many are not willing to open their lives to other people, and they are not willing to step into other people’s lives that are opened to them.

But, we need this. It’s not just a good idea; it is the way that God has chosen to work in and through us. Paul wrote that we grow when our lives are knit together and function together like muscles and ligaments. And what happens if we are not knit together in this fashion? We don’t grow.

If you look around the landscape of the church today, you’ll see many, many, many immature Christians. We are not growing.

So, how are you planning to encourage others today? What? Planning? Yes, planning. We must be intentional.

How are you planning to encourage others today? What about tomorrow?

How have others encouraged you day to day?

(Please share… these are not rhetorical questions.)


6 Comments

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  1. 3-1-2011

    Alan,

    Do you think this is the kind of “meeting together for encouragement” that Paul refers to in Hebrews 10:24-25?

    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.

    And if so, do you think it undermines the claim that these verses mandate the traditional weekly meeting?

  2. 3-1-2011

    Rick,

    Yes, I think Hebrews 10:24-25 is referring to this kind of daily encouragement, not to a specific weekly meeting. Unfortunately, I think most weekly church meetings fail to allow believers to carry out the instructions in this passage.

    -Alan

  3. 3-1-2011

    Wow, Alan you hit another one out of the park. Even though I think I understand this, I am not there yet, but I stand convicted.

    It takes sacrifice and totally reordering your life. Our culture doesn’t facilitate this type of lifestyle.

    What will I do? With my travel schedule I tend to disconnect. I was gone 18 days in Feb. I make phone calls but not enough. When I get home I usually don’t feel like doing anything. It is a battle, but everyone has there circumstances and we have to adapt to those situations and not lose our focus.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. 3-1-2011

    Jack,

    Thanks for the kind words. I still struggle with this as well. It is so easy to focus on myself and my wants and even what I consider my needs. It is much more difficult to “consider others…” But, I think that’s the direction the Spirit draws us.

    -Alan

  5. 3-2-2011

    hhmmm ouch. well I guess I’ll write down my plan of action to fix this then.

    since we finally NOT in hibernation mode anymore because know have healthy babies and warmer weather….I plan to:

    step 1 – get OUT of house.

    step 2 – go out of way to interact with others
    a. *quality* time with those already around you every day.
    b. plan get togethers with friends you don’t see daily.
    c. meet new friends – be the one to introduce self to others when go to the park, store, etc.

    step 3 – genuinely care for others. worry less about self – more about what’s going on with others. ask questions about them. try to get to know them. listen for God to speak about their soul — hear the message behind their words. use “I”.. “me”… “mine” about 1/10th that you normally would.

    step 4 – be an encouragement. maybe in words.

    :)

  6. 3-2-2011

    Randi,

    What a great plan! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    -Alan

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