“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25, ESV)
God designed me to be an introvert. Twenty-five years of living alone has molded me into an extreme introvert. But the Christian life is not about walking alone. Our Leader, Jesus, did not walk alone but met frequently with the Father and the Holy Spirit. And the rest of the time, we found Him with His disciples or people.
I love people. Not as much as Jesus loved people, but I love people. Yet, being with people drains my energy. I read these words, “not neglecting to meet together” and I don’t think this means just “attend church services.” I think this means meet for coffee and CONVERSATION, work in teams, invite people over for meals or to play games, sit and TALK, walk and TALK.
We can “stir up one another to love and good works” sometimes with texts and even Facebook posts.
But how can we “encourage one another” if we don’t have conversations?
God created other people, also in His image, who don’t see things MY way. Unique generations. Unique personalities. People who are not perfectionists on the Enneagram but challengers! And I’m supposed to get along with them. I’m supposed to work with them to get the gospel out to people who desperately need to hear about Jesus. Currently, I can’t in my own strength. However, I have Philippians 4:13 to remind me of the source of my strength: “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (NLT)
I imagine that Jesus went to be alone with the Father and the conversation might have sounded like this: “Did you hear his impetuous answer to my question? Can you believe he’s still that dull? And he’s the one You chose to begin the church of the New Covenant? Yet, he’s got a teachable heart. He’s got passion. Once our Spirit is within him, he will be unstoppable!” And then Jesus could return to work again with Peter full of patience and love.
I imagine this because I am running like this to the Father these days. Sometimes I am just running, screaming, taking a deep breath and going back into the fray. The beautiful thing is that God never takes sides. He shows me my lack of love. He shows me how much He loves ALL the people He created. Then God fills me with His love, His patience, to complete His Great Commission.
Warmly in Christ, Karen Kurth
“When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us, or for our adversaries?’ And he said, ‘No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, ‘What does my lord say to his servant?’” (Joshua 5:13-14 ESV)
Read the above passage from Joshua 5:13-14 and reflect upon how the Lord loves all peoples equally, looking for those who will follow Him.
When I have conflict, do I seek the Lord’s will or my own agenda? Do I need realignment?
Read John 17 and bask in the wonder of it. Jesus prays for all who will follow Him and prays for our unity.