READING: Jeremiah 37-39, Hebrews 3
“But encourage each other daily.”
In my early years as a Christian, I wish I had had someone who could know me well and push me toward deeper levels of faithfulness and obedience to God. I was a teenage guy in a non-Christian home, and I wasn’t sure how to overcome temptation and live in victory. At the same time, though, I had Sunday school teachers and youth leaders who cared deeply about me, and I attended a church that stood on the Word of God. They may not have walked with me one-on-one at the time, but they continually taught me the importance of following Christ fully.
In these latter years of my Christian walk, I can now look to other men whose lives and whose words do indeed challenge me to imitate Christ with my life. We don’t talk every day, and we don’t have formal meetings—but I hear their teachings in my head whenever I dare wrestle with obedience.
Then, I think of the young men into whom I’m privileged to pour my life, and I’m reminded that my faithfulness (or lack thereof) affects more than just my life. I am so connected to others in the body of Christ that my choices affect them, and their choices affect me. We need each other as we battle against sin.
The writer of Hebrews, too, understood that we believers have an individual mandate to be faithful and a corporate responsibility to help others stay faithful. We are to guard our own heart so that it does not get hardened, but we are to do that in the context of relationships with other believers: “But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception” (Heb. 3:13). While God still gives us life, we are to exhort one another in love, challenging each other to walk faithfully and helping each other to avoid the snares of sin. Sin seeks to entrap us, and we are more vulnerable when we are fighting it alone.
I am thus reminded that my tendency to fight my battles alone –the way I too often did as a teenager—is nothing short of disobedience. We win the battles of the Christian life when we fight our common enemy together, arm-in-arm. All of us need the help of other brothers and sisters in Christ to see the deceptive nature of the sin that so easily entangles us alone.
- If you don’t already have someone pushing you toward godliness, ask God to connect you with that person.
- Seek at least two prayer warriors to pray for you to remain faithful.
PRAYER: “God, I praise You for people who walk beside me in faith. Help me to be that person for someone else.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Jeremiah 40-42, Hebrews 4