Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:25
The kids had to memorize this verse a couple weeks ago for church and for some reason it keeps running through my head. As I was laying in bed this moring I was thinking about it and how it has deeper meaning. At first, it tells us why we need to attend church and be in a body of believers. This is very true. We need to go to church, be involved, and call each other onward. We need to be that iron sharpening iron. I'm thinking, though, that in the New Testament time, the church was the family. Those that accepted Christ, were rejected by society and often their families. To give up meeting together would have been to be either really isolated, or back-slidden (I'm not sure if that's really a word). Things are a little different now. We intersect with lots of other people. We have our church family, our real families, our co-workers, other friends in the community, and long, lost friends. We build relationships in all the different roles we hold in life AND we have a responsibility to be salt and light in all those areas. We don't get to just be good and spiritual when we are with our church family. Tempting as that can sometimes be, we just are not allowed to do that if we are really who we say we are.
The hidden gem in this verse is that as we see the Day approaching, life is going to get hard. Times are going to get tough, and then tougher. How did the early church survive persecution, torment, torture, starvation, hiding in caves or holes in the ground, and sometimes martyrdom? By not giving up meeting together. By lifting each other up in prayer. By feeding and clothing each other. Carrying each others' burdens. Now, we are nowhere near suffering what those early believers suffered. However, I think we all know several people who are suffering. Who do you know who has recently lost a loved one? A job? Part of their income? Their home? Been rejected by someone in thier family? Their health? Their car? Their phone? Major appliances? Who do you know that is sad or depressed? Feeling alone? Struggling with the past? Worried about the future?
Do not give up meeting with them. Do not give up meeting their need. Pray for them, pray with them if they are okay with that. Give what you can and never tell anyone. I am always very aware of how in an instant, I could lose it all. Everything I have and everything I am is because of the Lord. If I have one regret, it is that I made financial decisions that make it difficult to help others. The wise ones are those who live modestly, well within their means, and freely give to others. If you are one of those people, I want to sit at your feet and learn from your life! But He is so good. He forgives and still gives opportunities to be a blessing to others. We all have the same 24 hours. Visit your friends, family, those you know who are alone or going through a tough time. Be an encourager. Speak of God's promises at every opportunity. Give to others what has been given to you...it's not always money!