“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:12-13)
God, through the inspired writer of the New Testament book Hebrews was addressing Hebrews that were Born Again Christians. He had just shared with them that their ancestors where present during the amazing miracles God showed them in Egypt and in the wilderness. He shared how even with the amazing miracles His people still rebelled against Him and fell into sinful lifestyles and thought patterns. He was pleading with them to not fall away from the faith, like their ancestors fell away from their faith. He implored them to stay away from evil things and thoughts that would separate them from their faith and their God.
God’s solution is to exhort one another daily. We are to lift up, praise and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are to do everything in our power to never say disparaging words against our fellow believers – no gossip, no baring false witness, no casting disapproving words). We are called to encourage, care for, strengthen and assist our brothers and sisters in Christ, so that their heart will not be hardened.
Sin will enter the life of those treated badly or talked about in a negative, untrue or hurtful manner. If we truly love our brothers and sisters in Christ, we will remember that, “…as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” (Luke 6:31) In other words, treat people the way you would like to be treated, and talk about people the way you would like them to talk about you.
All people yearn for acceptance, kind words, words of encouragement and praise for a job or deed well done. “Exhort one another daily,” so that your hearts aren’t, “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ. Please understand that I’m preaching to myself as I’m writing this devotion, because I need to do a better job at encouraging.
“Lord, please help me to be an encourager, whether the person is standing before me or if I’m talking about them to someone else. Let only good, uplifting and encouraging words come from my mouth, so that each person I speak to or speak about will be encouraged and strengthened to resist sin and not fall away from their faith. I pray that no one develops a hardened heart because of something I said to them or about them. I ask this in Jesus’s name, Amen!”