Since I heard Bob’s sermon this Sunday, I have been thinking a lot about how we should respond to one another as a family in Christ. Hebrews 10:24 challenges us to “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting with each other….but encouragine on another all the more as we see the Day approaching (NIV).” This verse is one of the many that show us that church is so much more than worshiping on Sunday mornings. We are a family of brothers and sisters in Christ, and yes, many of us gather on Sundays to worship God together and learn from God’s Word.
But does church stop after that?
What the church does throughout the week is encourage each other as we all go into our lives and daily routines of work, family, responsibility and ministry. I think we can all agree that daily life includes many moments of struggle, temptation, challenge, and stress that can all too often cause us to miss the beauty and joy that we have in front of us. We know that our lives are to be filled and defined by faith, hope, and love but we can’t get past the discouragement and pain that can dominate our lives. Sometimes we can even get so focused on “good” tasks and causes that we burn out, and our wells run dry. To avoid this, we must intentionally insert ourselves into each other’s lives so that we can point each other to Christ, remind each other of the great things God is doing in our midst, and encourage each other to stay strong in the faith.
Sounds refreshing doesn’t it?
Wouldn’t it be great if no matter how difficult life got, we always knew that we had an unshakable network of full of faith and hope to support us? I read Paul’s brief letter to Philemon this week and noticed that Paul encourages his friend by telling him “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people”. (v.7 NIV). Wouldn’t it be amazing to be known as someone who refreshes the hearts of the Lord’s people? Wouldn’t it be amazing if you knew someone who refreshed your heart?
We all have long days, hard weeks, and difficult years. I know when I am in a rough patch, I need someone to talk to me about Jesus. Jesus is the author and perfector of our faith, He is the one who gives us abundant life, He is the one who makes our burdens lite, He is the healer, and the prince of peace.
We don’t have to wait until Sunday to talk to each other about Jesus.
How much thought do you put into your interactions with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? I know it might sound weird to be so strategic about your friendships, but we should really consider how we can intentionally encourage each other and remind each other of God’s grace and love in the middle of an ordinary day. This is a very, very big part of what church is.