Encourage One Another

The new year is off to a great start!

The boys are applying themselves to their school work (most of the time), we’ve followed through on our goal to be more hospitable (and it’s been great fun!), there have been lots of positive comments on the blog (thank you!), and the adorable grandboy was here for a visit on Saturday.

I’m encouraged!

In our study of Hebrews 3 this week, verse thirteen uses the Greek word parakaleo for “encouragement” which is from the same root as the word used for the Holy Spirit in John 14:6:  “Helper.”

As encouragers, our instructions are to come alongside one another and help.  In the original context, the author is urging his readers to help others in the faith to stay true to the teachings of Christ, to embrace fully their new identity in Christ rather than going back to the Levitical system of temple sacrifices.

To enhance our understanding of “encouragement,” we’ll be using the resources at Biblegateway.com where it is possible to look at any verse of the Bible in multiple translations.  (If you’ve never used Biblegateway.com, I recommend opening another window and following the prompts I’ll be sharing, so that you can practice using this helpful resource.  I have added pictures from the site to demonstrate.)

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Type the reference into the first field, choose a version from the drop down menu and then click on “search.”  Here’s the verse we’re studying today:

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To read Hebrews 3:13 in over 50 English translations, click on the red type and see that “encourage” and “exhort” are used interchangeably in the verse.  The Message renders it “watch your step” and “make sure.”

Want to narrow the choice down to a few versions?  Click on the brown icon to the far right to add parallel views.

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Below are the NKJV and NIV.  Keep clicking on the icon for additional versions — or delete unwanted versions by clicking on the “x.”

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Click on the speaker icon to hear Hebrews 3 being read aloud!  The left icon with the arrow allows you to share the verse on social media, and the print icon . . . well, you know what that’s for.  You can print the verse and carry it in your pocket to help you memorize it!

Viewing multiple versions makes it clear that the “daily” encouragement believers are called to seems to be tied to edification or building one another up in the truth — rather than just helping someone to feel better.  In fact, sometimes, “encouraging” another believer means saying hard truth, delivering a sober message about attitudes that have cropped up or habits of speech that don’t glorify God.

Hebrews 3:13 makes it clear that we are called to this ministry of encouragement because sin is deceitful — the concept of inertia comes to mind.  The tendency is to stay in the negative pattern unless acted upon by an outside force. I need the outside force of exhortation because at times my heart is unable to discern its own motives.  The Reformation Study Bible (another reference available through Biblegateway.com) hits the nail on the head:

“Sin promotes the illusion that disobedience is more secure or pleasurable than the pilgrimage of faith.”

Inertia-busting exhortation reveals truth to the deceived heart.
Now, go back to the original screen showing Hebrews 3:13 and notice the banner above the verse:

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See where it says “study this”?  One click gives you access to Study Bible Notes, Commentaries, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Maps.  Clicking on the Dictionary of Bible Themes yields a drop-down menu of 24 different topics to explore in Hebrews 3:13.  We’re looking at encouragement today:

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To believingly follow Jesus Christ is to watch out for our fellow believers.  Tim Kimmel puts it memorably:

“True greatness is a passionate love for God that demonstrates itself in an unquenchable love and concern for others.”

The question is, do I love others enough to take the risk — and to take the time — to speak hard truth or to point out an area of giftedness that is not being fully utilized?

Are you willing to be the outside force that the Holy Spirit uses to encourage a fellow believer onto a better path?

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Pull your chair a little closer to the table and join us for a study in The Epistle to the Hebrews, a letter to a congregation of struggling Jewish Christians written by an unknown author sometime before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.  My class and I will be landing on a few verses in each chapter with the goal of getting an overview of this fascinating and complex book.  These mid-week reflections and observations are intended to initiate a deeper pondering of the week’s assignment in preparation for our discussion the following Sunday.  We’re only three weeks into the study, so it’s not too late to catch up by reading Hebrews 1 -3, and, if you’re interested, last week’s blog post.

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I link-up with these communities on a regular basis:   Soli Deo Gloria Connections, Inspire Me Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Soul Survival, Testimony Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Tell His Story, Coffee for Your Heart, Live Free Thursdays, Faith-Filled Fridays, Grace and TruthStill Saturday, Weekend Whispers, Sunday Stillness, Faith and Fellowship, Blessing Counters, Women with Intention, Sharing His Beauty, Monday Musings, Motivate and Rejuvenate Monday, Thought Provoking Thursday, Small Wonder, Playdates with God,  A Little R & R, Beloved Brews, SusanBMead, Faith Along the Way, Cozy Reading Spot, Reflect, Literacy Musing Mondays, Purposeful Faith, The Loft, Words with Winter, Rich Faith Rising, Encourage Me Monday, Tuesday Talk, What to Read Wednesday, Booknificent Thursday, Give Me Grace, Three-Word Wednesday, Word-filled Wednesdays, Faith ‘n Friends, Essential Things, 100 Happy Days, His Purpose in Me, After My Coffee, Thankful Thursday

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Published by

Michele Morin

I am a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. I have been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 27 years, and our four children are growing up at an alarming rate. Nonetheless, two teens still remain at home, and along with an incorrigible St. Bernard, we laugh, make messes, clean them up, and then start all over again. I love hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop me in my tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. I lament biblical illiteracy and advocate for the prudent use of "little minutes." I blog at Living Our Days because "the way I live my days will be, after all, the way I live my life." You can connect with me on Facebook or Twitter.

45 thoughts on “Encourage One Another”

  1. I use BibleGateway too. It such a useful tool. I love your choice of words today because it really exemplifies who you are to me. You are indeed someone who encourages others. You encourage me with your lovely comments and great posts weekly. I am nominating you for the The Liebster Award and The Blogger Recognition Award. 🙂 Thanks for all that you do to encourage and uplift your fellow bloggers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been surprised at myself for wanting to use Biblegateway. I’m still pretty attached to my dusty old Strong’s Analytical and my stacks of Bibles, but it’s so convenient to just click and find all those resources. And, Mary, thanks for your encouraging words.

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  2. Michele, what great insights about encouragement. And your analogy of inertia and needing something to kick us out of that negative place we sometimes get to? LOVED it. A timely word of encouragement/exhortation can do exactly that, and get us moving closer to Jesus again.

    And thanks for sharing some of what Bible Gateway has. I’ve heard about it but never visited. I appreciate you sharing what you’re learning–tech-wise and Bible-wise. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Michele, thank you! I mentioned Bible Gateway in my post, but you explained it much more in depth and I learned something new: I never even noticed the Study This button before. I also have not looked at the Reformation Study Bible before – but I will now!

    Thanks for sharing at The Loft!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am currently reading Bob Goff’s book, “Love Does” and am on the chapter where he talks about being and encourager and how much we all need to be encouraged. It is something that is so easy to do, yet done so rarely. Thanks for a wonderful Bible study post at The Loft, Michele.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the book of Hebrews. I wrote a study on it several years ago and learned so much from studying it. Bible Gateway is always my go to. Good day to hear about encouraging others in their Christian walk. Thanks Michele, have a Blessed day:)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Michele,
    I love biblegateway and this post as well! I am glad that God has allowed me to come alongside and encourage others in some small way. i will begin to look at all the resources there at biblegateway as well. Thank you for this reminder of our responsibility to encourage and the helpful tips as well. Blessings to you and yours in 2016!

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  7. Wow, Michele, I refer to BibleGateway often but hadn’t realised the extent of the resources they have. You’ve really encouraged me to dig deeper into the Word and this particular scripture. What a great way to start the year! Wishing you blessings, for you and your bible class.

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  8. This is a wonderful reminder of encouraging others. The book of Hebrews is full of wonderful encouragement. I love using Bible Gateway for their Study Bibles, Commentaries and Dictionaries. Thanks for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

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  9. You are doing an amazing job on your writing. I love your independent look at the words of the passage. And I had no idea that Biblegateway did all that! Thank you.
    And I love how God seems to be speaking to both of us on similar topics. Yes this week’s verse at Word of God Speak came before I heard my word for 2016.
    Blessings my friend,
    Janis

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  10. Sorry! A little late, but coming to you from the loft. Heard, once, that encouragement meant “pouring” courage into someone and that is what I try to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Michele!
    Love the book of Hebrews and the invitation to become acquainted with all the tools that Bible Gateway offers for study. You are a model and example of encouragement in your own writing consistently as well as the comments you leave for me on my own post! I also enjoy both.
    Love and blessings,
    Pam

    Liked by 1 person

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