Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: KJV
I am reminded of our son Andrew and his gymnastic team at Washington Court Athletic Club. There were 6 boys on the 9 year old team (Class IV) that became state champions: Andrew, Greg, Johnny, Kenny, Matt and Nick. A 50 point all-around score (6 events) is a very good score at that level and all 6 of the boys were able to score near 50 and above in competition.
This meant that their practices were something special because they all were doing so many things right. They still had fun – they were 9 year old boys – but they were seeing and experiencing commitment to excellence in every practice. They worked hard and watched one another do routines right. They helped and encouraged each other. They wanted to win as individuals but it was the team that was most important.
Today’s verse talks about us provoking one another to love and good works. The NIV uses the phrase ‘spur one another on’. The idea is the reverse of being jealous or depressed by seeing the efforts and accomplishments of our peers. The efforts and accomplishments of those around us can provoke similar things in us. They are meant to encourage and motivate. We can all experience excellence in the tasks we face.
When you or your friends need help with something, are there certain individuals who always seem to be there helping? This is a practical expression of loving one another – to be there when needed. It’s important to have our “eyes and ears” trained to recognize the opportunities when they arise – and to use the examples of those who have helped us to spur us on to help others.
This is what we need to see in our relationships with those around us. It will encourage and challenge us. It makes us all want to try harder and support one another. It also provokes such a sense of gratitude that we get to be part of such a group. The Lord has given us such a marvelous opportunity to bless one another, our community and most of all Him. Our prayer is that we will be ever-faithful to the challenge He has placed before us.