Hebrews 10:22-25- NIV
22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
As a ministry leader, I constantly hear about how Bible studies fail to meet real needs. Women feel disconnected or disengaged with the participants or curriculum. Discipleship is scarce and deeper connection seems difficult to achieve. The problem is that in today’s society, almost everything is instantly granted. Want to feel connected? Pop on to Facebook or Twitter and see any one of your 400 “friends.” Feeling uninspired? Pinterest is only a click away. Very little effort is required to feel engaged socially and this is bleeding over into organic social connection.
Let’s unpack this scripture together and find practical ways to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
Let’s look at another translation of these verses.
Hebrews 10:25The Message (MSG)
22-25 So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.
Ask yourself about your motivation.
First, in verse 22, it says that we should “draw near to God with a sincere heart.” Attending a Bible study should first, and foremost, be motivated by a desire to seek His face. If we are strictly looking for a social connection or to make new friends, we need a heart change. There is nothing on this earth that will meet needs like Jesus. While friendships and new connections are a side effect, or a bonus of a Bible study, this is not the primary purpose.
Be faithful to engaging in God’s Word.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” What does “holding unswervingly” look like within a Bible study? If your Bible study is walking through a workbook type study or studying through a book of the Bible, be committed to the work. I totally understand that there are constant demands on our time, and sometimes things happen that prevent us from completing our assigned work. If the work is not getting done more often than not, ask yourself if time is really the issue. Are you prioritizing entertainment over studying? Are there distractions? What are the hindrances that are holding you back?
Be an encourager.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” This is where we can truly bring God glory. We all know that life can be difficult and unexpected circumstances can leave us in pain, confusion, or to slip away into becoming lost. Call the women who miss the meeting. Bring over a coffee to those leading the study group. Care for one another. John 13:35 says this “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." Ask the other participants how they are encouraged. Step up to the plate and encourage them to do the same.
Verse 25 says “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…” Be committed to being on time and present. Don’t schedule other things during your regular Bible study time (within reason, doctor’s appointments and other immovable things will happen) but try to think of this time as sacred. Make it a priority on your calendar and do your best to make every meeting.
Father God, how I love and admire your Holy name. You have called us to come to into presence and to seek your face. We pray that you would grant us a heart that desires deeper relationship with you. We ask you for a discipline to engage with you daily. We pray that you would open our minds to understand your Word and to send the Holy Spirit to move us toward loving encouragement. Amen