“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24).
Monday’s breakfast in the Wiseman house is pancakes. I have a recipe card that I have pulled out several hundred times. I finally have a list of ingredients and quantities in my mind and make adjustments depending on how many people will be eating. In the last phase of preparation, before the batter goes to the grill, I consider how to stir up the batter to the right consistency, sometimes adding a bit more milk.
We know about stirring up orange juice, paint, and other substances that separate or have settled. There is also the stirring up of athletes with pep talks. The process of stirring is meant to make items ready for their intended use. Consider any one of the above items not properly stirred. We could have runny or chunky pancakes, watery or pulpy orange juice, thin or thick paint, nervous or lethargic athletes.
The Hebrews 10:24 passage is direction for Christians to continue to stir up others to faithful behaviors. Humans can become settled in their routines or habits that are not in-line with God’s desires; this can make us not available for our intended service. God does have intended service for Christians as we read in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Oh, Lord, have mercy on us for the willful rejection of Your call and lead us to Your green pastures of living within Your will.
I encourage you to read the Hebrews passage in its context. In the preceding verses (19-23), we hear beautiful Gospel of what has been done for us by Jesus Christ, “by His blood…through His flesh…washed with pure water.” The verses following (25-31) give firm direction of what we are to do and not to do, along with the intense consequences of rejection of God and His ways. This Scripture skillfully uses the Gospel then the Law to stir us up to love and good works.
For this year’s midweek Advent Services and the Christmas Services, the sermons will be considering ways of being stirred up by God’s Word. December 2nd we will further dig into Hebrews 10:19-31. On December 9th we consider the letter to those in Thessalonica and the great care Paul had for these dear souls who were his “glory and joy” (1 Thessalonians 2:20). On December 16th we will go to Jesus’ words stirring us up in John 6 to passively receive His grace in order that we will live forever. On Christmas Eve, we will recall Joseph being stirred up so that he would not reject Mary as his bride or the Child whom she was carrying. Then on Christmas Day, we will recall the shepherds be stirred with the “good news of great joy” as Mary treasured all that was happening in her stirred-up heart.
I use the spoon to stir the pancake batter so that the batter is prepared for its intended use. God uses His Law (what we are to do) and His Gospel (what He has done for us) to stir us up for His intended use as beloved children of God. With His Law and Gospel received into our lives, we are prepared for life now to the full and life forevermore.
The Lord be with you,
Pastor Sam Wiseman