“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Hebrews 10:23-25 NKJV
In my past I was one who went through thngs alone. I have often described myself as a fortress, with emotional walls raised high, and a moat around me filled with the most hungry and lethal aligators imaginable. I wanted no one near me.
In my trials, I had no one to exhort me, no one to come along side and asist me in getting through life. I was on a solo mission, embracing my pain and forcing a smile. Needless to say, I did not do life well, as I felt like I was hemorrhaging inside, a slow bleed, draining me of vital emotional and even physical strength.
When I came to know Jesus, I started my faith walk thinking I did not need to change, that I needed no one. I was wroing. I found that maintaining my faith required contact with other believers. I got to a point when I would long for Sunday, and the chance to be with others who had called upon the name of the Lord.
I love the passage this morning, the command to hold fast our confession of our hope. It is easy these days to find oneself wavoring. Day after day, it seems as if reality is taking a surreal bend, as things we have never seen before, happen almost daily.
I find that I seek as much fellowship as I can in this time of pandemic. I maintain regular contacts with people, and pray for many. I try and communicate about spiritual things as the Lord allows. I savor each interaction. Unlike the fortress of old, I need people, fellow believers, in my journey.
We are in the midst of perilous times, and facing realities no one is prepared to deal with. Gone is the comfort of the pew, the routine of the Sunday, the complacent comfort of “doing church”. I suspect that worship for the local church will become a more deliberate act, something that requires an element of sacrifice and even risk.
The early church met under threat, as they were ostracized in the community because they followed Jesus Christ, who shook up the establishment. He confronted the religious leaders and showed them the truth.
They met with gladness, and encouraged each other. I am sure many of them had lost jobs, had lost connection to family, and I am sure some had even lost spouses, as they went after Jesus into the pursuit of the Gospel.
“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
Acts 2:46-47 NKJV
God honors fellowship, even in the most dire of circumstances. He uses the knitting of hearts in one faith to complete His work. As people around see the unity, they are drawn. I can tell you, from memory, that life in a fortress of sin is no fun.
If the darkness comes on the Body of Christ, we will value the fellowship. We will hunger for it.
Brothers and sisters, let us make every effort to exhort those in the household of God. The current times we are in are dire, and we need each other to get through.
This is definitely not the time to isolate. We need to be about the Father’s business as the Gospel needs to be spread. As we consider the times that we are living in, we can sense that the Day is truly approaching.
If you know someone who is shut in, give them a call. Spend a little time entering their reality, if only by voice, that they have the chance to be blessed. You will have the chance to blessed too.
I do not think that life, in these last days, is going to improve. Even so, we must be steadfast in living Spirit filled lives and leading people to salvation.
“Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.”
I Thessalonians 5:14-15 NKJV
We are also called to exhort each other to holiness and hold each other accountable. We are ambassadors of the Lord Jesus, as we must reflect His holiness. We are living in a time when ambiguity dominates the moral conversation. We are to be black and white, know right from wrong, and present the values of the Kingdom to the lost. We should not be doing evil things, and behaving as people unchanged by the Holy Spirit.
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.””
Hebrews 3:12-15 NKJV
Go out this Sunday and serve your KING!