12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 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. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?
“Take care that no one among you has an evil or unbelieving heart” doesn’t mean that we start kicking people out. If we did that, at some point, I’d be the only one left! (LOL)
The way we keep ourselves free from having evil or unbelief in our midst is to encourage one another to have faith. Encourage one another to follow Jesus with all of our might. What I love about that is that the point isn’t our success in that endeavor, but our efforts.
We can’t control other people. (We can barely control ourselves!) But what we can control is what we ourselves do with one another. If I took up efforts to encourage you in your faith today while you took up efforts to also encourage me towards Jesus today, we would both grow! Even if one (or both) of us have a terrible day, the effort to mutually encourage faith in Jesus would strengthen us in it some way.
It’s kind of like the way that it’s always so easy to tell someone else what they need to do to clean up their office, make their car run better, eat healthier, or get to places on time. Why is it so easy to tell other people such things?
As we are in groups of other people, our sincerity and confidence in Christ is contagious. Our cynicism and critical attitudes can also be contagious. We get to pick.
So make the choice to survive the wilderness today. Thousands of people grumbled against God over food, sunshine, and the ‘Good Old Days’ while God gave them everything they needed. They have become an example of sin and faithlessness for thousands of years!
Don’t be that guy!
The Lord is with us today to work in our moods and in our circumstances. Let’s share that work and encourage others to see God’s work too.
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