Thursday, 23 April 2009

Ways to stir each other up to love and good works

Hebrews 10:24 says 'let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.' When preaching on this verse the other Sunday I gave ten practical ways to obey this command. Here are the first five...

1) Get a prayer/accountability partner

Find someone who you have a good relationship with and arrange to meet with them every week to talk about your personal struggles and difficulties. James says that we should confess our sins to each other and pray for each other (5:16). Use this time to humbly acknowledge to the other person that you're a sinner in need of practical and godly counsel. Every member of the church has something to teach another member. Encourage each other and bear each others burdens (Gal 6:2).

2) Be an example for everyone
Paul tells Timothy to be an example for everyone despite age: ‘Let no one despise your youth but be an example to the believers in word in conduct, in love, in Spirit, in faith, in purity' (1 Tim 4:12). Live your life in a godly way to show other Christians that godliness is real gain (1 Tim 6:6). Christians are encouraged to live godly lifes when they their brothers and sisters displaying the happiness that comes from living in God's presence.

3) Acknowledge evidences of grace
Here's one I got from C J Mahaney. Go up to Christians you know and tell them about the grace you see God pouring out in their lives. If you see humility, acknowledge it to the glory of God. If you see patience in a friend, tell him or her. Change in a person is easier seen by others than by yourself. Encourage others by explaining how you see God changing them.

4) Acknowledge gifts
When Jesus ascended He gave gifts to all men (Eph 4). Everyone in the church has a gift essential for the proper functioning and life of the church. Tell people about how you see God using them. Explain to people what gifts their skills might dictate that they have. Stir up each others gifts and don't neglect the gift that is in you (2 Tim 1).

5) Suggest books for people to read
There are loads of great books to read that have had a massive impact on Christians of the past and present. Suggest books for your friends to read that have changed and challenged you. Encourage each other to read books that are full of deep doctrine and at the same time are written in a heart-felt way.

To be continued...

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