Spurs of Encouragement

From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

November 11

Spurs of Encouragement

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 119:161-168 | Ezekiel 23:1-49 | Hebrews 10:18-39 | Proverbs 27:13

Today’s Scripture Focus: Hebrews 10:18-39

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. [24] And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. [25] Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:23-25 NIV).

We all need encouraging words. Often those words of encouragement are ones that we want to hear such as a word of hope when we are going through a tough time; a word of affirmation when we are discouraged. Yet, encouragement doesn’t always mean flowery words of praise for another. Sometimes encouragement requires a spur–a painful poke in our backside that spurs us on to action.

Anyone whosever seen a “Western” movie remembers the cowboy with spurs on the back of his boots. When it’s time to get the horse moving, he gives a jab of the spurs and the horse is off and running full speed in no time.

Sometimes we all need to be spurred on. We need the encouraging words that move us beyond apathy and complacency to a full gallop toward the goal.

It’s reckless to get too busy for church–-to give up on meeting together. You need the words of encouragement. You need the fellowship. Sometimes you need the spurs.

Do you know someone who is drifting? Complacent? Growing tired in the race and tempted to give up? God has given you the responsibility of spurring them on toward love and good deeds.

Now don’t go overboard. The spur is meant to prod, not to cause permanent hurt. In the hands of the wrong person, a spur can have a detrimental effect. So our attempts to spur on others to love and good deeds can have a detrimental effect when we aren’t loving and tactful.

Encourage one another daily. When necessary, use spurs.

Heavenly Father, let me hold unswervingly to the hope I profess, knowing that you are faithful to your promises. Help me to spur others on toward love and good deeds. Fill my heart with longing to gather with other believers to worship, and encourage each other through fellowship. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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