22 Therefore, let’s draw near with a genuine heart with the certainty that our faith gives us, since our hearts are sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies are washed with pure water.
23 Let’s hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, because the one who made the promises is reliable.
24 And let us consider each other carefully for the purpose of sparking love and good deeds. 25 Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the day drawing near.
As Acts 2 reported, the very first Christians in Jerusalem formed a congregation that met regularly, shared life, and supported one another. As the gospel spread, Christians in other places also formed congregations, often more than one in each city. They knew they were part of something bigger than just their local congregation. But they also knew that they belonged, grew and served together in those local churches.
Lord God, thank you for connecting me to your family. Help me to “spark” love and good deeds in others, and to be receptive to your sparks as they arrive in my life. Amen.
* Lloyd John Ogilvie, The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volume 28: Acts. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983, p. 72.
When I was two years old, my mother had to have her hip replaced. With a son in Kindergarten and a toddler at home, you can imagine the concern that being off her feet for several weeks, and then not very stable on her feet for quite a while after that would cause. My father traveled for business, and there were no funds to hire someone to help out at home.
A woman from our church, Janice, came to live at our house and care for my mother, brother and me after my mom’s surgery. I don’t remember this happening when I was only two years old, but I do remember learning about it several years later when my mom had to have the same surgery again when I was a teenager, and I asked how she’d managed when I was so little. I learned that Janice stepped away from her own children, older teenagers at the time, to be there when our family was in need. She showed us love, and demonstrated to her own children that when you see someone with needs that you can meet, you do so with a joyful heart.
Janice showed me that so many times throughout my childhood and teen years. She volunteered in the Mother’s Day Out class I went to when I was 4, then taught Sunday School when I was in Elementary School. She co-taught our Middle School Sunday School class, because, let’s be honest- Middle Schoolers need all the supervision and guidance the church can offer. She made meals for families who were sick, drove elderly folks to the doctor if they needed a ride and was the first person to offer a hug if you looked like you’d had a bad day.
She continued to teach Sunday School when I was in high school, and at some point in those years joined the church staff as the Church Secretary. Her door was always open, and her heart was always full of love for everyone. I loved to stop in the church and chat with her, and she was always interested in what we were doing, and encouraged us to be our best and to care for others.
Hebrews 10:24 is one of my favorite verses of Scripture. “And let us consider each other carefully for the purpose of sparking love and good deeds.” This verse is included in my email signature, and has gone out in each of my church emails for almost the past five years. It’s the influence of people like Janice that that has ingrained in me the strong desire to show love and do good works. I see it every day in my work here at Resurrection. Matthew’s Ministry volunteers, Silver Link Volunteers, Confirmation Mentors, Alpha Leaders, Zone Group Leaders…so many people showing love and doing good works. That is the church.
How are you showing love? What are the ways you are engaged in good works? If you have a hard time answering these questions, I’d love to help you explore some ways you might begin. You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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