It’s easy—and often our default—to focus on ourselves.
If someone asks for a ride home from school or practice, we consider first, not their need, but if we can spare the inconvenience. If a colleague is in a pinch and needs to pass off a project, we hesitate, take a look at our own workload, and regardless if we take it or not, grumble over the request.
And if our church is looking for volunteers, a family member asks for help to pack up boxes for an upcoming move, or a friend does the unthinkable and calls us instead of text, our first instinct isn’t to elevate their need or request above our own. Our knee-jerk reaction is to wonder if we have the time for it, and if we answer no, we brush off the appeal, move forward with our own plans, and let the call go to voicemail.
But what if this year, we responded differently? Instead of considering our own plans, our own goals, our own desires—what if we put others first? What if we lived to encourage one another? If we sought out ways to motivate one another to acts of love? If we prioritized good works to serve one another? God is coming, Jesus is returning, and He cares more about our souls than our schedules. And His heart’s desire is for everyone who is lost to be found.
Will we realign our perspective, fight against selfishness, and join forces with the Church today? Let us not neglect our meeting together, link arms with fellow believers, and remember the good reward awaiting for us in heaven. As we continue to do God’s will and honor one another above ourselves, may we find ourselves living a more fulfilling year than ever before.
- In what ways have you prioritized your own schedule over attending church and meeting together with other believers?
- The writer of Hebrews challenged God’s people to “think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” Take a couple minutes to make your own list. How can you motivate other Christians in your life to acts of love? What good works are you passionate about? How can you stay intentional about these things this year?
A Call to Persevere
19 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. 21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
26 Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. 27 There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. 28 For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us. 30 For we know the one who said,
“I will take revenge.
I will pay them back.”
He also said,
“The Lord will judge his own people.”
31 It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. 33 Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. 34 You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever.
35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! 36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
37 “For in just a little while,
the Coming One will come and not delay.
38 And my righteous ones will live by faith.
But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.”
39 But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.
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