For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Distance, struggles, pain and Satan’s lies can cause us to question God, our faith, and our impact for the kingdom of heaven.
As a trainer and facilitator of poverty solution teams in Southeast Asia, I sometimes ask myself, “Are we impacting and transforming lives? Is the kingdom of God actually working through us to push back the darkness and bring forth hope, abundant life and reconciliation?”
The answers to these questions are in the signs of new life.
Never once in the Bible do you see Peter, James and John have a problem with the beatings or the commands from authorities not to preach the gospel. That’s not going to slow the church down. It’s not external pressures or external persecutions that will put off God’s work among his people. It will be chaos and conflict that comes from within the church.
“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).
There is a supernatural element to times of corporate worship and fellowship. When we join a local body of believers and fellowship with them, we are not only obeying Scripture but we are allowing God to work in us through the encouragement and admonition of other Christians.
“Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus” (2 Corinthians 7:6).
Paul took a ministry trip to Troas where he was to be joined by his spiritual son Titus. He longed to see his godly son in Christ and knew his spirits would be lifted by his presence. Yet after Paul arrived in Troas, Titus didn’t show up.
One woman felt that lottery tickets offered hope that life had denied her until members of the church helped her find peace in better sources.
As soon as someone mentions “addiction,” most people automatically think of drugs or alcohol. Those two substances, however, only represent a fraction of potential addictions that can entangle people.