We have looked at daily bread, trouble, joy and mercy. These four things concern the vertical relationship between God and ourselves. This post focuses on the daily necessity of horizontal engagement. The writer of Hebrews points to yet another daily need.
“But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion’ (Heb 3:13-15).
We are not talking about what happened yesterday or what needs to happen tomorrow in this text. We are talking about what needs to happen right now, today. The author of Hebrews is teaching us how the community of faith is intended to function on a daily basis.
Sin deceives and progressively hardens the heart causing an individual to fall away from God. The church is called to daily engage the affects of sin in order to persevere to the end. The strategy for engagement is encouragement. It is through daily exhortation that sin’s deception is challenged, hard hearts are softened, and those falling are lifted up. The church is to be a perpetual interruption to the corrupting movement of sin.
Life depends on daily bread. Perseverance depends on daily encouragement. Every day is an opportunity to give and receive gospel admonition in order to keep each other safe on our journey. The text highlights the fact that today is the appropriate time for both exhorting and responding. We need the church far more than we have ever realized.