“But exhort one another each day, as long as it is called ‘today’ that none of you become hardened by sin’s deception” (Hebrews 3:13).
One antidote or preventative measure to counter our tendency to forsake the living God is receiving daily exhortation. What a power and privilege we have as believers. We have the opportunity to come alongside others in whatever way we can to encourage and strengthen one another in the Lord. These opportunities are always to be seized, but we should especially be aware of how necessary it is during seasons of adversity and hardship. We may have to get a little creative at times as to how and when we seek to help or encourage others; but it is something that we neglect to our own peril. For we are a body, Christ’s body. And “when one member suffers, everyone suffers with it. If a member is honored, all rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26). We are all interconnected as fellow believers.
Remember the “exhort” here in 3:13 conveys the ideas of comfort as well as encouragement and strength. At the root is the notion of enabling a person to meet some difficult situation with confidence and gallantry. One of the Greek historians used this word to describe a Greek regiment which had lost heart and was utterly dejected. The general sent a leader to talk to it with such purpose that courage was reborn, and a body of dispirited soldiers became fit again for heroic action. This word is also in the present tense and is an imperative. Therefore, we are being commanded here to continually send encouragement to one another.
Who is God laying upon your heart this day to come alongside of in some way to help? Don’t ignore those Holy Spirit urges or promptings. We may not understand fully why a specific person is being laid upon our heart by God, but I have always found that when I followed through, I never regretted it. It was clear to me after the fact that this person needed a friend, a kind encouraging word or deed in that moment.
Let’s not become self-absorbed or predominantly inward focused. There are always people, especially who are part of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10), who could use encouragement this day. There is so much treasure in this verse for us that we will continue to unpack it tomorrow.