A Hug And A Swift Kick
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 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.”
These two verses have an interesting dichotomy. Verse 24 challenges us to spur each other into deeds of love and verse 25 asks us to encourage each other. In some ways this is very similar to having both positive and negative reinforcement. Everyone likes having someone encouraging them but few would like to have a sharp pain in their rib cage that comes from a spur attached to a boot. At certain times in life we need either one or the other type of message.
I see this in working on sermons when I see that half of the people need to get a big hug and be reminded that Jesus loves them more than they know and that he is with them in every situation. Likewise, the other half of the church needs a swift kick in the rear to wake them up and listen to everything the Lord has to say. Sometimes this reality can be expressed in the fact that we need to hear both law and gospel.
The one constant is that this comes when we gather together. That is an important truth that we need to be reminded of each week. We need each other in the church because we are the ones who hold each other accountable to God. We also share with each other the incredible message of Jesus and all that he has done. That blessing is one that changes every situation for the better.