Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But 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. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end. Hebrews 3:12-14

Today’s thoughts from today’s verses:

When we utter the words of the Lord’s Prayer, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done,” it is first and foremost a renewal of our commitment to pursue a life for ourselves that is aligned with God’s kingdom and will. The life God intends for us is all about serving his kingdom, but there is so much that militates against this happening as it should. The world is like a stream flowing away from God so that living for God and his kingdom is all upstream. The current of the world constantly seeks to pull us away from God and his ways. Going against the current of the world, staying close to God, following his ways, and serving the kingdom requires support from others who are seeking to do the same. 

This is what today’s Scripture is all about. Notice the words, “Take care, brethren.” We are not alone. God calls us to take care of each other. This is the central purpose for the church, the body of Christ, in today’s world. When we are committed to providing the mutual support and accountability we need, we can help each other maintain a close and vital relationship with God. When we each have a vital relationship with God, we will faithfully and effectively serve his kingdom and do his will on all levels, including impacting our world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A healthy church is God’s one and only means for reaching the world for Christ. 

This is why our church has a growing and developing small group ministry. It is in such settings that we can surround ourselves with others who encourage, challenge, uplift, inspire, and celebrate the work of God in our hearts and lives. We, too, help surround others in the same way. Our passage says it this way, “But encourage one another day after day” so that we “become partakers of Christ …. firm until the end.” 

Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:

Lord, thank you for the mission you are on of permeating the world with your kingdom through your people. I am one of your people and I want to join you and serve you and your kingdom fully. Please provide the circle of support and accountability I need for staying on track. Help our church to blossom even more in becoming a “Take care, brethren” church. Amen!