Different not Better

Different not Better

Hebrews 10:23-25 is a famous passage of Scripture.  Pastors love to quote these verses because they serve as a great encouragement for Christians to gather together.  As with any Scripture, allow them to speak to your heart today.  “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 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.”
There are so many great truths in these verses.  We can hold fast, not because of our character, but because he is faithful, is one of my favorite promises.  One thing that caught my attention these past few days is that the writer of Hebrews is encouraging the Church to think about how they can motivate each other to continue to do good works. He connects this idea with the fact that when we see the world getting more and more sinful we can be assured that the Day of the Lord will soon be upon us.  Of course, in order to motivate one another, we have to be together and thus the encouragement to not neglect (that is an interesting word choice) meeting together as the Church.  I believe the writer is being very perceptive.  As our culture falls farther away from Christ, it becomes more and more important for us to do good works to show them the difference Christ has made in our lives.  The worse men acted, the more Jesus stood up to them and showed them his love.  At their worse, when they crucified him, he served them with the greatest good work ever.  He died for them.  While our tendency, when sin abounds, may be to turn our backs in disgust or fear, the writer of Hebrews encourages us to do more good works, not less.
So how can we stir up good works?  One way is by leading the way ourselves.  Be a front runner of good works.  Don’t always wait for others to start something.  Another way is to do all you can to encouraged those who are doing good works.  Provide assistance. Volunteer early and often.  Tell them what a good job they are doing. I once heard someone give this advice, “Changes may not make things better, only different”.  Your opinion might seem, to you, to make what is being done better but if you truly stop and think about it, it may only makes things different.  Encourage those who are doing good works more than simply offering your opinion.  Did you ever stop to think that when you give your opinion about what you think should be added to a good work it is really saying to the person doing the good work that they are not doing enough or that they are doing something wrong?  Lastly, stay involved in regular worship and meetings together.  We need each other to help train our eyes to see our culture the way Jesus sees it.  It is too easy for us, even as believers, to accept that which God rejects.  Regular meeting together, with the Church, keeps our focus on Jesus and what he establishes as right, just, and holy.  When we see like Jesus, he moves our hearts to respond with good.
Today is a perfect day to do good works.  Allow the work that God is doing in you to shine into the lives of others.  Be kind, gracious, forgiving, meek, giving, merciful, and, above all else, loving.  Like Jesus, people may not respond to you in kind, but come running back to the Church and allow them to stir you on to more good works.

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