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.
This chapter goes into detail about what we are supposed to do, as Christians, to help each other remain strong in the word. Although written to the early Christians and filled with references to those that walked 40 years in the wilderness because of their unbelief, this chapter provides warning signs to today’s Christians. It is easy to stray, easy to become distracted and discouraged and it is our responsibility to encourage one another.
The word “today” is written three times in this chapter. “Today” not only means today in the traditional sense but also “now” as in the present.
Encouragement is a powerful tool in the fight against the enemy.
Signs are meant to keep us informed, provide us with knowledge of potential hazards and for our safety and protection. We see signs on a highway or road and we use those signs to make decisions. Am I driving too fast, too slow? Where do I turn? Are there flashing lights, etc. The Holy Spirit is giving us a warning with the “if then statements”. I am stay true to the belief that Jesus is our risen Lord and Savior. I am to act in the will of God and not resist His will so the word of God and the Holy Spirit can guide my life.
We are to act now, while we have the chance and not procrastinate. How many times have I said “I will get to that later.” only to not get to it at all or have someone else do the job because I either forgot, got too busy or ran out of time? I get angry when my kids procrastinate yet I am just as guilty as they are at times. Yet, the Holy Spirit clearly states in Chapter 3 that if we hear his voice “today” we are to listen and as long as it is called “today” we are to encourage other Christians. It is my job. And I am to do it today.
It only takes a little bit of encouragement to keep people focused on living in His will. It is my job to help others stay true. If we can encourage others on a daily basis, we are kept accountable and keep others accountable. Our spirits are lifted and we are reminded daily that God is in control and He should be the influence in our lives.
Father, I am often a “do as I say and not as I do” Christian. I ask that you remind me today and every day that you are in control and that I want what you want for me, not what I want for me. Help me to be aware of the struggles of others so I can be the encouragement that you seek us to provide.