The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

05/14/2009

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An Exhortation


"But exhort one another day after day, as long as it is still called today" (Heb. 3:11).

The term exhort most probably not one of the common words we use. We hear it in church from time to time and the dictionary definition says, "urge strongly; advise or warn earnestly." The sample sentence is, "The preacher exhorted his congregation to live better lives." As an athlete and coach I have heard and done a lot of "exhorting." In the 1993 movie Rudy, the Notre Dame coach Dan Devine says this before the last home game of the season to exhort his team (Its the game Rudy gets to dress for)..."No one, and I mean no one comes into our house and pushes us around." That movie clip is played in arenas across the USA to "exhort" the fans.

In language more familiar to us, exhort means to encourage. It means to get someone fired up to do good things. It means to have a positive effect on those around us, both in words and deeds. It means as the Hebrew writer says, "and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds" (10:24). There are so many ways to encourage one another. There are ways that are more than likely tailored to each of our talents. Maybe you can't stand in front of someone and preach the word, but you can visit someone in a hospital or care center. Maybe you can sit down with a card and write a note of encouragement or comfort to someone.

Paul writes in 1 Thess.5:11, "Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you are doing." Even though they were doing it already, Paul is exhorting them to continue. We are always in need of encouragement, and always need to do encouraging. There are so many obvious reasons why we should be Christians of encouragement. But there is one I have not emphasized as yet. "For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope" (Rom.15:4). Part of the reason for the Word is to encourage us. As we are encouraged through the Word, we can then be an encouragement to others.

Whether we use the word exhort, encourage, stimulate or motivate, it should be an integral part of our Christian life. "Stimulate one another to love and good deeds." Wow!!! The Writer of the Book of Hebrews would be a great coach.

Have a wonderful day....Go about doing good...It will be an encouragement to those around you...Love mark Phil. 4:11

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