Sunday, 10 February 2019
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, Hebrews 10:24
The author now states a third “let us” admonition. One has followed on the heels of the other. The first two were “let us draw near with a true heart” and “let us hold fast the confession of our hope.” Each of these was stated directly after it was noted that we have “a High Priest over the house of God.” Now, the author admonishes his audience to also “let us consider one another.”
The word gives the sense of thinking from top to bottom, and thus to perceive clearly. The intent is that we are to consider one another’s spiritual state through a constant and careful evaluation of where that person is at any given time. Paul expresses the thought beautifully in Philippians 2:3, 4 –
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
With this attitude, the believer in Christ is to really care about the well-being of the individual “in order to stir up love and good works.” The word translated as “stir up” is paroxusmos. It is only seen one other time in Scripture, in Acts 15:39, where Paul and Barnabas had such a sharp dispute that they separated. It signifies “a provocation which literally jabs (cuts) someone so they ‘must’ respond” (HELPS Word Studies). Unlike the case between Paul and Barnabas, here, it is a positive provocation. It is a stirring up of love and good works in the one who is the object of attention.
Life application: Taking the three “let us” statements as a continued thought, we should consider that if Israel had confidence in drawing near to God with a true heart because they had a temple among them in Jerusalem, and if that temple gave them an ability to hold fast to the confession of their hope because they had a high priest who could minister to their spiritual needs, then how much more should we have greater confidence in the security which comes from Jesus.
Because of the believer in Christ’s more perfect hope, how much more should we consider others and strive to stir up in them love and good works! Love is easier to measure from our perspective, but unfortunately “deeds” are not. Because of this, dubious standards of “deeds” are set up by churches and individuals. If you don’t meet their criteria, then they claim you “can’t be saved” or “you’re not a good Christian.” Probably the best thing to do is not worry about the specific deeds that people expect and instead give the Lord credit for all that occurs in your life. Should you break a leg, remember to thank the Lord for the time to rest. Should you find a $20.00 bill on the ground, give the Lord thanks for the bounty. Should you be seen helping an old lady across the road, give Jesus the credit for giving you the heart to do it.
No matter what you do, do it with the notion that the Lord is the one who gets the credit. In addition to this, not only should we be living the thankful life, but we should make every attempt to be both an example to others and to remind them to live likewise. In all you do, do it unto the Lord!
Lord God, You have blessed us so abundantly. Thank You for all that comes from Your open hand of grace. And so, give us willing hearts to live faithful Christian lives – doing deeds of righteousness in Your name and to Your glory. And Lord, help us to spur others on to the same fruitful life we have asked for ourselves. In Jesus’ name we pray! Amen.