The Bible tells us to exhort each other to “love and good works” (See Heb. 10:24 below). Exhort means to [s]trongly encourage or urge (someone) to do something.” That is what we are talking about in today’s message.
The church is like a family. We love each other. But families don’t usually have a mission beyond their own concerns. The church does. It should excel at “love and good works.” In that way, the church should function like a team. Each person is necessary. Their individual confidence and actions affect the whole. Anybody who’s been on a team knows that confidence and unity enable the members of a team to do better. Good teammates urge each other to greatness. The bible says people in church should exhort each other like that.
12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 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.
A team, like a family, suffers when relationships break down, and the bible has some important guidelines for keeping those relationships healthy. The church should care for strangers, prisoners, and mistreated people. This is part of its mission, and when those people are at the same church, it helps heal, restore, and unite them. The bible also gives us guidance on how to treat money, sex, and property — each of which can be divisive, painful, and even dangerous when handled foolishly.
Time is short, the mission is vitally important to God and to people. Fights about injustice, inequality, and infidelity are inappropriate. We never need to worry about those things. Jesus will do justice. Jesus leads us and provides for us constantly. He will not abandon us. When we drop these petty, temporary things and cling to the Lord Jesus, when we serve together, we don’t even realize the amazing things we are doing.
You will join Christ’s life and work. You will make a difference to people. You might have coffee with an angel.
Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3 Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. 4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. 5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”