Text: Hebrews 10:24
By: Festus Etuwewe
The author of the writer of Hebrew makes a transition from great doctrinal teaching to applying that doctrine to the life of his hearers and readers.in the first part he talk on the confidence we have in Christ, how we can draw near to God through the blood of Christ and treasuring the sufficiency of His work. The byproduct of the writer message is what we shall be discussing this morning as recorded in our text.
Consider One another
When this verse says, “consider” [‘katanoeo’], it means to observe fully, to perceive, to behold, to discover, to know them. “Consider,” means to get into the lives of others, to be caring and giving of ourselves in heart-to-heart encounters. “Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” That is what God expects of Christians. We do not just put in our time – just make a show for appearance. Our faith is not ritualistic; it must have substance.
The reason that make us to fail to provoke one another as we should, is that we do not give the consideration to each other that we ought. Paul prefaces this statement with the words, “consider one another.” The verse enjoins us to first develop the habit of giving the attention to one another that when this habit is in us, the ideal way “to provoke one another” will become natural in us as charges in this verse. Paul is discussing the mutual care and concern for the welfare of the body of Christ that will lead the members “to provoke one another unto love and good works.” One serves as the purpose of the other, the word translates as follows: “And let us constantly be giving careful attention to one another for the purpose of stimulating one another to love and good works”
We (Christians) often forget that we are “members one of another” (Rom. 12:5). In the passages where Paul discusses the church under the analogy of a human body (Rom. 12 and 1 Cor. 12) Paul is teaching that no individual Christian can function effectively by himself. Man was not meant to be alone. People need people, and we need each other as Christians..
How many lonely people do you suppose we have attending our services, and yet no one speaks to them?
Provoke One Another (Stir Each other)
I always associated the word provoke with fights and disputes. We most often hear the word when one nation provokes another nation into war; one party provokes the other into retaliation
The Bible turn this phrase around, Beloved let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good works,, The Bible is constantly offering us opportunities to get out of the old patterns of retaliation so that something good may emerge even in a bad situation. When someone does something negative, our respond should be positive..
What is the real meaning of the word provoke? It means to call out. What do we call out? we call out something within another. Each of us has some bad stuff within, but the Bible urges us to call out the good—our best desires, hopes and dreams and behaviors out of each other instead.
“To provoke” is to excite, arouse, or call into action. Christians sometimes need to be incited, stimulated, or aroused to a good thing. Too often we are more inclined to irritate one another rather than to incite or stimulate each other to that which is good.
Let’s read it. Verse 24: “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” Here is the focus for your life. Here is what you aim at from morning till night as a Christian. Notice carefully: it is not what you might expect. It is not: consider how to love each other and do good deeds. That would be Biblical and right. But it’s different: “Consider how to stimulate each other to love and good deeds.” Focus on helping others become loving people. More better people as you wish yourself. Aim at stirring up others to do good deeds. And of course the implication would also be that if others need help and stirring, we do too, and so we would be aiming at what sorts of ways we can think and feel and talk and act that will stir each other up to love and to do good deeds. The aim of our lives is not just loving and doing good deeds, but helping to stir up others to love and to good deed unto Love And Good Works.
Paul gives us a specific message that caring Christians need to be sharing with each other. We need to stir each other up, arouse each other — but he wants us to excite and stimulate each other “unto love and good works.” Christians in every local church need to be loving more, working more, and provoking more. The New Testaments teaching demand more from Christian on love and good works.
HOW CAN WE PROVOKE ONE ANOTHER TO LOVE AND GOOD WORKS
- We must Love God first, Christians need to be stirred up to love God more. But how much is “more”? Jesus answers, “with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37). We should love God more than our parents, relatives and friends (Matt. 10:37). More than food, our source of daily livelihood, or whatever has to do with this life (Matt. 6:33).
- We must love each other more. The law had required that one love his neighbor as himself (Lev. 19:18), and Jesus gives this as the second greatest commandment of the law (Matt. 22:39). But how much “more” should Christians love each other? Peter answers, keep growing in love until you “love one another fervently with a pure heart” (1 Pet. 1:23). Do people grow in love? They most certainly do. Paul prayed for his Philippian brethren “that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Phil. 1:9-11). Christians can stir each other up to this kind of love for God and each other.
The love for God and ourselves is what will manifest itself to stir us unto good works of always willing to;
- Assemble as Saints. We must know that one major reason of our assembling together is to provoke one another to love and good work. This is made clear by the admonition that follows in Hebrew 10;25“not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching”.
- The text is saying come to church regularly.” Because it is in the regular gathering of the church one can get the most important kinds of encouragements and exhortations from the preaching of God’s word that will motivate us unto good work.” Verse 25 is explicit: come together and encourage one another. The “one another” implies that there is something mutual going on. One is encouraging another and another is encouraging one. Each is doing or saying something that encourages.
- Remind us of our Calling
Paul remind us of our calling and our role in 8the church “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). God wants his people to be working, and he wants others to see their good works (not just their good moral life) and glorify him in heaven (Matt. 5:16).
But then he also wants us to be stirring each other up “unto good works,” or to the end that we might be doing the good works he has planned for us. Do brethren need to be aroused to do work in the kingdom? Surely, Brethren l want to believe that we all agreed that there is need to provoke this congregation, if you don’t believed, I want you to look at the number of brethren we have and how many are taking part in the church activities,.
Before the COVID 19 how many of us are doing the work of teaching the lost world, visiting the sick, cheering up the depressed, comforting troubled hearts, taking care of the needy, encouraging others to faithfulness, and of stirring up each other unto love and good works?
Many of us believed that is the work of the elders, and the preachers if that is your believed know that it the works of all the members of the Lord’s church, that’s the essence of the admonition that we each be arousing one another “unto love and good works”?
Provoking others in the right way, is a positive thing that incites action and inspires determination. It galvanizes and stirs up hope and energy so that others can get moving in the right direction to achieve better things.
Influencing and encouraging others to reach higher and to go further, is one of the most powerful expressions of our love for our neighbor. At the heart of doing this effectively is example, example, example.
That is how to provoke others to love and good works!