Receiving Life

This post is from the lovely Whitney Smith. She helps lead our [Discipling Relationship]s here at Life Church Austin and has a ginormous passion for seeing others discipled.

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Hebrews 10:23-25 (NIV)

So how can we take this bit of Scripture that Howard illuminated last Sunday and apply it to our discipling relationships? Well, let us see. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing.” That’s very clear. It is God’s heart for his children to be in relationship—not only with Him, but with one another as well. We are created to desire connection, as we are made in God’s image and connection is what He’s all about.

So, first off, we just need to be meeting with one another. That is the minimum requirement. And when we meet, we are to encourage/spur one another “toward love and good deeds.” What does it mean to spur someone? We have the literal illustration which Howard gave on Sunday: the action of using spurs to poke a horse one is riding so they’ll get a move on. Also, the thesaurus tells us that “to spur” can also be described as “to urge,” “to incite,” “to drive,” and “to stimulate.” None of these words have a timid connotation.

Sometimes I think that Christians equate love with submission—in the doormat sense. However, with the Perfect Lover as our example (God), we can glean from His Word that this is not the case. To act in love in the context of our [DR]s could very well mean bringing a sin issue to light or rebuking one another. We are not communicating God’s love if we stand by in silence and watch our brother or sister slowly die, “for the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)

Not to mention, “if we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” (Hebrews 10:26-27) Yikes. This reminds me of a friend I once had who took her gift of salvation in a very cavalier (and not theologically sound) way: “Now that I’m saved, I can do anyyythinggg I waaaaaant!” Not so, says Hebrews. If we, claiming to be Believers, knowingly engage in sin with no step towards repentance, we are exploiting the death of Jesus on the cross.

Let’s take this message from Hebrews as an exhortation to really take our [DR]s seriously. Let our once-a-week meetings be more than an obligation or a place to confess only the least embarrassing of sins. Let it be a place to receive life.

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