Spur One Another On

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,” (Hebrews 10:24 NIV)

Encouragement can come in many forms…as any parent, teacher or coach will tell you. Some are gentle reminders, some are a little more firm and still others may actually sting a bit. The point is that we all need encouragement and just as The Lord encourages us in different ways we are called to graciously and discerningly do the same for others…and be willing to accept when they “spur us on.”

We’re going to look at another one of those slightly more difficult “one anothers” today. In Hebrews 10:24 the writer under the power of The Holy Spirit tells us to “…Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

The word “spur” here in some translations is “encourage” (which we’ve heard over and over again and is very “encouraging”) but it is more often interpreted to: “stir up”, “incite” or “provoke.” These latter interpretations give a little more kick (pun intended) as we all know from cowboy movies that a spur is a bit more than just an light, soft encouragement.

The Greek word here implies more than just encourage as it carries with it the force of those latter words to act in such a way that it causes us to move in the way that we should. “Spur” or “provoke” to right action may very well be the best interpretation and we need to be willing to both give the extra push as well as receive it when we need it.

The context of this verse was that the writer was encouraging the Hebrew believers (and us today) to stand strong in our faith and it would take some extra pushes and provocations toward love and good deeds to remind us of and help us be solid in our walk of faith.

We need each other and we need to love “one another” in all the ways that we’ve been exploring and studying in these commands of Scripture that grow us as disciples and together as His Church. So don’t be afraid when someone gives you the extra “spur” and remember it must always be done in love to keep you/me/us strong in our belief and walk in Christ. Also, don’t be afraid to graciously, and as needed, firmly “spur” others on to strengthen their faith walk.

Do you have someone that “spurs” you in your walk in Christ? Are you “spurring” others along? We need this so that we will continue in love and good deeds to one another and build up the fellowship of loving believers that is His Church!

Much like the horse who at times just needs a word, at other times needs a slight pat and yet there are times when what is needed is the spur in the side to prompt them to move. And just like the horse, there are times when I don’t respond to the gentle word or slight pat and need the spur and just like the horse, I don’t always like to be “spurred on” but God’s Word tells us we need to do so.

I need to be willing to properly receive it when needed by The Lord and by others and be willing to gently but firmly apply it when others need to be “spurred on.”    

Food for Thought…In what ways have others encouraged you and it made a positive difference in your life? What about the times you spurned the gentle encouragement but someone loved you enough to spur you on and it made all the difference? Are you willing, as needed, to graciously apply the “spurs” in order to truly instill courage in another? God has called us to do so. May we do so when it is called for with wisdom, grace, mercy and love.

Action Steps…

  1. Spend time with God and in His Word and prayer every day…begin with the Scriptures in this episode.
  2. Ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
  3. Can you remember a parent, teacher or coach who spurred you on and it made a huge difference in your life?
  4. Spend time specifically seeking The Lord and His wisdom whenever there is a need for you to spur someone on in love.  

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