Stay close to the Shepherd
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works. not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
So there I was, just a little spark trying not to be extinguished as I continued to step further away from support and godly encouragement. A single mom, independent and motivated to work 2 jobs and take the next promotion wherever it would move me. This particular advancement took me into the next state. 3 hours away from anyone I knew and basically forced me to start a whole new life with no accountability. It seemed like every time I tried a new church or to get involved somewhere, I was quickly distracted by work or play. I was unstable and being tossed continuously and the worse part about it was, I didn’t know I was deceived, messed up and making continuous bad decisions. I thought I knew better, but couldn’t handle being out there in the world on my own.
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Luring away sheep from the flock so they can be devoured. Like the wolf in the old cartoons, Satan always goes for the ones that have wandered from the group. This is exactly what todays scripture is talking about. We need to be around other believers that will stir up love and encourage us to do good wherever we go. Not to be self-focused and centered, but to be people focused and God centered. Especially, don’t stop meeting together with other believers and meet even more often because there isn’t much time left. Whether it is church services, small groups or special meeting and conferences, stay connected with the body and don’t make excuses when it is time to meet. Meeting with other Christians is your lifeline and far more important than any other appointment or commitment you may have. Coming together with the body of Christ is how His blood flows through us. We, God’s children, are His body and if we do not stay connected into that body, our part of the body will die. It needs the support and strength of all the other parts (people) to grow and thrive.
So many things you can do to be in that safe, connected place. Commit to go to church every week instead of just when you feel like it, that is a good place to start. Serve at your church and get to know people on the teams there. Join a small group or lead a small group each week. Listen to podcasts and audio books that encourage and train you to help others find freedom in Christ Jesus and send messages to those you know to encourage them to stay connected.
Today I want to encourage you to stay connected. If you are actively involved in a congregation of believers, love and encourage those that you meet to do good to those around them and love others into the kingdom of Heaven. If you have strayed to the edge of the flock and are no longer getting the love and support, turn around and get back to the safe place, right in the middle of the sheep where the Shepherd is. Most of all, do not neglect coming together to meet regularly and do it more often as we see the day approaching.
Today’s scripture reading: Hebrews 10:19-25