This week, we are continuing to learn more about our fifth and final spiritual enemy, self-absorption.
Self absorption: being preoccupied with our thoughts, feelings, desires, and concerns above all else.
Last week, we touched on the freedom that is found in knowing that life is not about us, but about God’s glory and grace. When we live in this mindset, we aren’t let down or frustrated by others when they don’t live up to our expectations, and can instead serve others.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 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.
· Hebrews 10:19-25
The author of Hebrews uses Old Testament imagery in verses 19-22 to show us that Jesus became our priest and mediator in order for us to be reunited with God. Through Jesus, we can now “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.”
Verses 24-25 call us to encourage each other daily in order to stir up love and good works in one another. We are to sit down and put intentional thought towards how we will encourage.
Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 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 3:12-13
The ultimate goal of sin is to turn us away from God. Hebrews 3 is a group command, not an individual command. It’s all of our jobs, as family, to make sure that none of us turn away from God.
The method by which we “take care” is to exhort or encourage one another. Through biblical encouragement, we can remind others of God’s presence and activity in their lives.
We are prone to either compliment others, or wait for grandiose reasons to encourage others. We are called to encourage one another daily - this means through the ordinary days of our ordinary lives! We are prone to either give compliments or wait for grandiose reasons to encourage others, but for it to be biblical encouragement, it has to help us hold fast to our hope and stir us to love and good deeds. Biblical encouragement will soften our heart towards God and prevent us from falling away from God.
Categories for Encouragement:
- “Here is how God has used you…”
- “Here is how I see God at work in you…”
- “Here is what God has promised you…”
In a culture where we tend to be sarcastic and self-protective, encouragement is radically countercultural - and all the more necessary. Our Personal Liturgy challenge for this week is to encourage someone every day. We are shifting the focus off of ourselves and taking an active part in our call against sin by encouraging and pointing others towards God.