While in God's Grip!
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
~ Hebrews 10:23 - 25
"Love and good deeds." Sounds like the tag line for a commercial, but they are words directly from the writer of Hebrews. The writer continues to remind us that some people simply give up, as "some are in the habit of doing," but then comes the words, "but encouraging one another."
I don't know about you, but I need to hear these words daily. Just the other day one of my "good Christian friends," shared something that totally did not reflect these words. While the person felt that somehow they would call Christians to action in a clear "line in the sand" social media post, instead it prompted a series of responses that would have even made Jesus sit back and wonder what to say or do next.
I am reminded that following Jesus is meant to be easy. Jesus reminds us that he did not come to "abolish the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfill it." (Matthew 5:17) In doing so, he then declared a new commandment that we simply, "Love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another."
Instead of love and good deeds, lately we seem to encounter judgement and condemnation from one another. We must become safe places for people to meet in vulnerability. Only then can we practice love and good deeds, which are deeply rooted in the love that God has for us, and the writer of Hebrews invites us to experience with one another.
To live a life without hidden agendas or unspoken intentions, where we do not benefit personally, where our desire is to love and to do good deeds, only then can we then begin to live as Jesus invites, while encouraging one another.
For some, this will need to become an intentional practice. To no longer judge and identify others as "enemies," or for that matter, "sinners," but instead to bring us to a place where we can reconcile ourselves to practice love and good deeds, only then do we begin to understand Jesus' final commandment.
Love and good deeds must become our nature. It is the only way that we may become the living instruments of Christ in the world today.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.