Encourage One Another

Hi everybody, it’s Pastor Dave here today with another "Daily Journal" guide. I pray that you are having or will have a great day. If you have your Alone With God journal, grab it and open it to a "Daily Journal" page. If you don’t have an Alone With God journal and you’d like one, you can get it at wordbymail.com. And you don’t really need the Alone With God journal. It just kind of makes it easier to follow me. You can use any journal you have. Or, if you’re not a writer, you can just meditate on the Word of God with us this morning.

So, the important thing is that you grab your Bible because you’ve got to have the Word of God to meditate on the Word of God so you can ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you specifically and personally today. Grab your Bible, and turn it to Hebrews Chapter 10 today. We’re going to do verses 24-25. We’re going to call today’s journal guide “Encourage One Another.”

Listen, I was with the Wednesday night group last night, and it was an awesome group. And I was just thinking about how important it is that we lock arms with a fellow Christ-follower or two or three and follow Jesus together. Even in the Alone With God journal, it’s so important that we spend time alone with God. But the Bible makes it clear that we’re not made to follow Jesus alone. We do need that intimate alone time with God, but what we need also is we need to lock arms with other Christ-followers and be motivated, be encouraged, be prodded, be accountable. If you look through the Bible, you’ll see that there are no solo missions. The Disciples learned to follow Jesus together as they lived together. As they were with Jesus, they learned to follow him together. So, that’s my heart today.

So, if you’ve got your Bible, and it’s open to Hebrew 10, let’s read verses 24-25.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT)
24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another (it means to stir one another up) to acts of love and good works.

That’s a great verse. Let us think of ways; let’s look for ways where we can motivate or how we can motivate one another, stir one another up, and encourage one another to acts of love and good works. That’s following Jesus together.

25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

So, listen, this is a really important verse to get into the first-century cultural context because we use this verse a lot to say, “You’ve got to come to church. You’ve got to come to church.” Because churches like it when people come to church, they like as many seats in the seats as they can get. In the first century, there were no churches as we know them today, not until the fourth century, in 300 AD (or so), when Constantine started creating churches by taking pagan temples and turning them into churches. But when this was written, when Hebrews was written, meeting together was in homes. That’s the only place. They either met together in homes or at the Temple, on the Southern Steps, generally, or in Soloman’s Colonnade of the Temple (which are awesome places to visit). They weren’t necessarily talking about going to church. You should go to church. You absolutely should. Got to do that. Worship together.

But just know that in the context of the first-century culture, this meant getting together with one another. Get together, and almost always, it involved food because food is sharing life. And so, this is really more of a picture of meeting in a home. And the homes weren’t large. There were no such things as “Great Rooms” in homes. Homes were small. And so, the meeting together was generally small. Maybe larger meetings outside. But it’s just important to say this meeting together was not necessarily church as we see it.

Let’s read these verses again, and I encourage you to write about them in your journal.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT)
24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.
25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

And listen, just one other note there about meeting together and encouraging one another. How much closer is the return of Jesus today than when the writer of Hebrews wrote this in the first century? So now, it’s really important that we meet together for motivation, encouragement, and accountability.

So, grab your journal. If you’ve got an Alone With God journal, the first step is to Mediate. And I just kind of gave you some meat to chew on there, hopefully, some information to meditate on. In the journal, it says, “What is God’s Word saying? What are the spiritual principles here?” So, just take a minute, look at the verses again, and write there. And if you want to pause this and write that section and then come back, do that.

Then the next section is our Apply section. And so, you can do this in the Alone With God journal, any other journal, or in your heart if you’re not a writer, but writing is so good for us. In the Apply section, it says, “How does this apply to my life today, personally and specifically?” Man, look at these verses because they apply to your life personally and specifically today. Look back at them, and then write how does this apply? Meaning, what is the Holy Spirit pointing out to me about my walk with Jesus through these verses?

The next step in the journal is Respond. Under Respond, it says, “What action will I take today in response to this truth?” And, again, these verses are really clear. Who is in your life that you could think of ways to motivate them, to stir them up, to encourage them to follow Jesus with you? Who in your life could you say, “Hey. Let’s meet together, let’s lock arms together, let’s at least text each other.” (Which is not meeting together, by the way.) “Let’s at least stay in touch and ask each other, hey, how are you doing? How are you doing with your walk? In your walk with the Lord?” Think about how you will respond. Again, in the Respond section, “What action will I take today in response to this truth?”

And then, finally, is Pray in your journal. And I’m going to pray, and then I’m going to ask you to pray to finish this devotion.

Let’s pray. Heavenly Father, you are a relational God. You created us for relationship both vertically with you and horizontally with one another. Lord, your Ten Commandments were broken into those two love directions: vertical love and horizontal love. And Lord, here, today, you’re saying that we need to be in relationship, not only with you personally or alone, but we need to be in relationship with one another. We need to join together to follow you. And so, we pray that you would speak to us, that you would prod us. That Holy Spirit, you would reveal to us someone in our life that we can think of ways to motivate, to encourage, to stir them up to acts of love and good works. And may we be connected arm in arm, locked arm in arm with others as we follow you. In your precious name, Jesus, amen.

Alright, guys. So write your prayer to close if you haven’t. And then, share this with someone. Maybe send this journal guide to someone else and say, “Hey. We should do this together – hold each other accountable.”

Alright, love you all. Thanks for being part of the family. Talk to you soon. Bye-bye.

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