And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.... (Hebrews 10:24)
Would you like to eat a couple of cups of flour? What about three teaspoons of baking powder? Maybe if you added a half teaspoon of salt? How tasty would a half cup of shortening be? I just ate some of that with a cup of buttermilk--and it was great! By the way, it had all been stirred together and baked into biscuits! The stirring makes a big difference! In Hebrews 10:24, we are commanded “to stir up love and good works” by being blended together. This is the perfect recipe for encouragement!
We need encouragement because of THE CHALLENGE THAT WE FACE (v.23). For years an enormous oak tree stood on the road to our church. Think of all the storms it stood, the seasons it saw, the sicknesses that come to trees that it survived. But eventually it could not stand there alone--it died and was cut down. The storms of life are fierce, the seasons of change relentless, the sicknesses of the soul ever seeking to get under our bark or destroy our roots. We need the encouragement of other saints in order to stand!
Knowing this, there is THE CONSIDERATION THAT WE FURNISH (v.24a). It is so easy to turn inward and just consider ourselves--what we need, what we want. But if everyone does that, then no one is going to have what they need or want. That kind of describes the current mentality of our nation doesn’t it? There’s this sense of entitlement where everyone is demanding what they believe is coming to them—and there’s not enough people to pay for it. That’s not good—but what’s worse is when this spirit invades the church. There is a story of a man who dreamed about eternity. In hell, there was a great banquet table of food, people had forks tied to their arms—and the forks were 4 feet long! Try as they might, they couldn’t get food into their mouths—and were starving—mad with hunger—weeping, wailing and gnashing teeth. In heaven, there was the same food, the same table, the same forks—but everyone was fed, and laughing—they were reaching across the table feeding each other! The church is meant to be like that picture of heaven—but it may often resemble that vision of hell!
There must be THE COURAGE THAT WE FIND(v.24b-25). To encourage is to put courage into someone. This is the whole point of this passage. We need to encourage each other! As we do, love is stirred up and good works are mixed in—the perfect recipe is put together to enable us to hold fast to our hope. There will always be challenges in life, but let us not be so consumed with our own troubles that we fail to consider others and what they are going through. The genius of the church is that we have a support group that can give courage to one another. Who needs your encouragement today?