Exhort One Another...today!
“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 ESV
Brothers and sisters, these are sweet words we have been memorizing. I hope you are working on these and feeling the impact of them. These words speak directly to our life together as the body of Christ. I would like to take just a few minutes of your time to think about what is being said and maybe seek to apply the truths.
Did you know you can slip into a state where you are operating out of an evil, unbelieving heart! Unbelief is a common sin. We worry and become anxious or angry because we are not trusting God. This unbelief may manifest itself in your work or marriage or kids or finances.
Are you trusting God or living in unbelief?
I don’t think the writer is speaking here of losing one’s salvation (notice the reference to “brothers”) but he is speaking of a state in which you are FAR FROM God! Your heart problem has led to a distance problem between you and God. He hasn’t moved but you have drifted off. You may this in a lack of personal devotions (Bible reading, prayer, meditation, memorization) or in a slight departure from the life of the body. A few more missed Sundays. Or passing on this particular Wednesday night study. No real communication with the body, no Faithlife, no text or phone calls.
How are things with you and Jesus? Are you more near than this time last year? Or are you more distant?
Exhort means to urge, advise, caution, admonish (Dictionary.com). This, beloved, is to mark out lives together! We are to be DAILY in communication, urge one another on and warning one another when we see these things happening.
How is your communication with the saints? Regular? More than once a week?
Why do we need to work so hard at this? Seems a little much, doesn’t it? He tells us why. SIN IS A LIAR! And sin is probably lying to you right now. There is a popular song titled “Fear is a liar” and it is. But ALL sin lies and we often don’t see it without the help of our brothers and sisters. What lies are you falling for right now?
- This (hobby, work, you fill in the blank) is what is really important! All that “church stuff” can wait. After all, it’s no big deal.
- Now is the time for you. Take care of yourself. You deserve a little “me time” don’t you? You just don’t have anything to give other people right now.
- Take care of your body. That’s what you can see and measure. Your soul? Meh! No one sees it. There is no test for it. Really, who cares? Life is short, make the most of it!
- You’re fine! Don’t get too serious about this Jesus stuff. After all, you don’t want to be a fanatic, do you? Go to church, that’s fine. But don’t go overboard. You have a “real” life to live, remember?
Maybe some of these are you. Maybe it’s something else. But, make no mistake, sin is lying to you. Are you able to see it? Who are you exhorting (and being exhorted by) daily? You need help to see what going on.
What lies are you believing? Who can help you by way of exhortation?