Daily Devotion - October 9, 2020 - Exhortations from a Soulful Friend

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion – October 9, 2020
Reading:
Hebrews 13:1-21
Weekly Theme: A Friend of Souls
Today: Exhortations from a Soulful Friend

When is the last time you have encouraged somebody? Or when is the last time someone encouraged you? Encouragement can come from actions without words or can come from exhortations, a form of emphatically communicating words of encouragement. An exhortation should urge someone to do something that is for their own welfare. I am so grateful that God has blessed me with many people in my life who exhort me in my spiritual journey; those people who always offer great words of encouragement to me. It is my prayer that I do the same in their lives.

The author of Hebrews, who is unknown, concludes his letter to the Hebrews by offering an exhortation that urges them to not turn back to Judaism and to a faith based on works rather than grace. This exhortation encourages them and us today to reflect and remember some actions that are reflective of a life that is influenced by being in Christ…that is, being in a relationship with Christ. We first are to think of others who are strangers (outsiders), imprisoned and those who are mistreated. We are to be content with what we have and to not love moneyGod provides our every need. We are to imitate the faith of those who led us to Christ, remembering that Jesus is steadfast; Jesus does not change from one generation to the next. We are encouraged to reflect on the goodness of God’s grace as the source of our faith and not laws or works. God desires our sacrifice to be from our lips in heartfelt songs of praise rather than offering empty burnt offerings. Finally, the author of Hebrews encourages us to do good, to share, to pray for others and to live honorably. The author concludes by praying that obstacles be removed and that he would be restored to the Hebrews…that he might be reunited with them. He concludes by asking God’s blessings upon them and continue to equip them to do good works that will support God’s will, and please and glorify God.

You may read this and say “Well that sounds like works to me.” Instead this is encouragement to recognize...to see evidence of how God’s love is in us, moving us to love others more, to love God more and in so doing our lives will be marked by these acts of love. We are motivated by the author to love God and love others. When we take these two actions all of these words of encouragement will be seen and evidenced by our actions. Let’s pray that we might urge and strongly encourage others by loving God and loving them and letting them know that we are praying for them to experience the love of God as we have and as we continue to do.

Dear God, thank you for the author of Hebrews and the words that we now read 2000 years later which resonate in our hearts and mind. Thank you for exhortations that move us by the power of your Holy Spirit to love you more and more. May others see Your love at work in our lives, through our words, deeds and actions and may you be given all the honor, praise and glory. In the name of your Son, Jesus, we pray. Amen.

 
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