You Have Been Called to Ministry
“But encourage one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:14)
Sin is sneaky; it can creep into our lives and, before long, we find ourselves grasping for air as it chokes the life out of us. God’s people have always been prone to wander; to become the lost sheep that strays from their shepherd and flock. And the enemy of our soul will do everything in his power to make sure it happens. He doesn’t take days off or call in sick.
But God has given us the ‘antidote’ for our wandering. He lays it out in this verse from Hebrews—encouragement. The voices of the people of God guard our minds and call us away from rebellion, hardheartedness, and unbelief. Our brothers and sisters in Christ play an essential role in our spiritual growth and life—we can’t do it on our own.
We desperately need encouragement from each other. We need the voices of others pointing us towards Christ, away from sin, and reminding us of the truths of the gospel. And notice that the writer of Hebrews uses the word ‘exhort’ or ‘encourage’. Nothing about using your voice to bring guilt and shame. But often that is how we use our voice; to tell others how disappointed we are and to tear them down. This is the natural and fallen tendency for us; to open our mouths to harm rather than to heal. And it never has, or never will, bring freedom to any of God’s people.
Everyone is to be involved in this ministry. Until Christ returns, every Christian is called to encourage others. You may find yourself saying, “I don’t know where I fit in the body of Christ? Everyone, except me, seems to know their ministry and are plugged in.” If that is you, you can quit wondering. This is it. Step into the ministry of encouragement.
We may find this difficult to do in the midst of our insanely busy lives, but this is where technology can play a huge role. Send a text. Make a call. Hit ‘send’ on an email. Face-to-face is the best method for communication, but an encouraging message through social media or technology can be a powerful reminder in the life of another believer. And don’t underestimate the importance of the ministry of encouragement. The powers of sin and darkness don’t take days off—neither can we.
Daily. This is telling. Hebrews tells us we need to encourage others and be encouraged daily. This reveals just how quickly it takes for us to fall into the clutches of sin and start down the path of hardheartedness. And, if we are honest, most of us don’t think we need encouraged that frequently. We think we are strong enough to make it through each day. The writer of Hebrews doesn’t seem to think so. We are weaker than we realize; a sunrise and sunset away from potentially making a choice that we will regret and that could change our lives (in a negative way). We need encouraged—there is too much at stake.
Who can you encourage today?