Encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:13
The Holy Spirit gave us a soft heart toward the things of God. But sin still operates in us, so that crusts form on the outside of these new hearts. Left to ourselves these crusts will continue to thicken in no time because sin is so deceitful. It deceives us about the goodness of God, about the power of God, about the wisdom of God, and about the grace of God. Sin says God won’t help; doesn’t know what to do; isn’t able to do what he’d like to do; and when he does something, it’s less than what we need done. But Christ did not leave us to ourselves. He promised us to one another, so we will use the ultrasound of God’s words to blast away whatever crust has begun to form. The Lord has arranged it so we can see the effects of sin in each other’s lives. While he warns us to avoid hurting one another when we perform this procedure, he does say it is necessary. The Word of God is a precise and powerful tool. When we wield it with love and prayer, it becomes the means of our perseverance. Serving one another in this way is a delicate business, but as we believe Jesus’ promise, we will serve one another well.
Lord, as I remember the courage of brothers and sisters who have encouraged me, guide and empower my efforts to strengthen the faith of others. Amen.