“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...” Hebrews 10:24-25
When we become Christians and the fruit of the Spirit begins to work in our lives, evidence of growth shows in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The Spirit molds us into the Christlike person our Savior wants us to be.
If we were to expound on the fruit of the Spirit, its traits could be more specifically explained by the actions and restrictions we live out day by day. Being nice, holding our tongue when we want to say something unkind, being faithful to the Lord, and exemplifying other characteristics that are good. Our moral gage and convictions remind us to be truthful, refrain from stealing, and avoid things that corrupt our minds.
All of those things are good and necessary for having a victorious walk with our Lord. We understand being righteous is part of being a Christian.
One area of importance we may overlook is our responsibility of positively influencing our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Our daily conduct of striving to be like Jesus is not too difficult to remember when we are fully committed to our walk with Him. However, do we remember the Bible’s instructions on stirring each other up to love and good works? Are we reminding ourselves to encourage each other spiritually?
When the New Testament talks about not being saved by works, it is referring to the Law in the Old Testament. Works the New Testament refers to are actions that should accompany our proclamations of the things we believe. They are not behaviors that earn our salvation, but instead are responses to our faith in God’s Word.
James 2:14-17 shares a good example of this: “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
Part of our Biblical responsibilities includes stirring up our fellow Christians. Love, encouragement, and good works go hand in hand beautifully.
Encourage others to resist temptation. Remind them of God’s love for them. Offer a helping hand in times of need. Recruit able-bodies brothers to help the widows and sick with home maintenance. Gather a group of sisters to make two weeks’ worth of meals for the new mother who is recovering from childbirth. Be the influence that impacts the youth group to be examples to their peers.
Being the hands and feet of Jesus-the body of Christ-gives us innumerable opportunities to show the world that our Savior is alive. As Matthew 5:16 says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
While we don’t prompt each other to do good things for the reward, there are rewards for our efforts and actions. Helping others rewards us with needs being met, lives being encouraged, and our own inner joy and satisfaction for making a difference.
As Galatians 6:9 tells us, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
And friends, those are words from the Word of God we can trust!