Hebrews 10:24 "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds"
This morning, as I reflect on these words, many thoughts and images stir in my brain. I have memories of gathering with the youth in various settings like Albuquerque, NM, singing White As Snow, being distinctly aware of the power of Christ that sets us free from the power of sin. Larry, our bus driver, with tears running down his cheeks, was deeply impacted by the truth of that message, but also by the depth of the love of Christ in the group he was transporting day after day.
I remember gathering with a group of young adults, ( my first experience of Life Group), assisting Gary Miller and Davy Slabaugh in their post- Reach home assignment, week after week, seeking after God, spurring each other on.
I remember various moments with the youth group in more recent years, praying with an individual that was completely broken, or a group gathered by a make-shift cross, pouring out their guilt and shame, finding forgiveness and healing and power to overcome sin. I remember the depth of the love of Christ in the little church in Carbon and the Holy Spirit's powerful motivation to carry on, to be faithful to Jesus until we see him face to face!
I remember last year, at the end of my son, Morgan's last program with his dear brothers and sisters at RBC, the tenderness and tears of many, including professors, who had experienced the love of Christ together and were deeply motivated to press on, to live worthy of the high calling to be like Jesus and minister his life to others and tell the good news of his salvation.
Just last evening, Lori and I had the privilege to spend a few moments with Reuben and Joyce, in the middle of their current struggle. As we encouraged them to press on, we were also encouraged and motivated by their love.
My life has been deeply impacted by the body of Christ, and often spurred on by my brothers and sisters in various settings. For me, hardly a Sunday goes by that just gathering with all of you and worshipping Jesus together, hearing his word proclaimed and reinforced spurs me on to want to be faithful. I pray you are also encouraged week after week as we gather together at Bethany.
This weekend, I am looking forward to gathering with our leadership team, spouses included, seeking after God's heart and vision, encouraging each other. I pray, and I hope you join me in praying, for this time to be one of spurring each other on to LOVE and GOOD DEEDS that fulfill our mission as a church and bring God much glory in Hartville and the surrounding community.
What about you? What do you remember? If you are part of a group that gathers regularly, treasure the opportunities you have to spur each other on. Let the love of Christ and the good deeds that our High Priest has made possible because He has redeemed us be the continuing motivation for your group.
If you don't belong to any group, please consider joining one! If you wait until your life is either not busy or not messy, you will probably not join. Are our lives ever not busy and messy? It's in the middle of our struggle that we need more than ever to find God's grace, ministered faithfully through our brothers and sisters, and strength to carry on when we feel like giving up.
Hold on to the hope you profess, He who promised is faithful! ( Heb. 10:23)