“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works”Hebrews 10:24

In Christ we are to be each other’s “anointed agitators.”

At first glance today’s Manna is a bit difficult to understand.  First of all, King James’ use of “consider one another” is foreign to us.  And, the idea of “provoking one another” seems to be a call to be someone’s “thorn in the flesh” (II Cor. 12:7-10).

But, when we realize the word “consider” (Grk. “katanoeo”) also means “to observe fully, perceive, discover, exercise the mind, heed, understand, etc.”, it takes on a whole new meaning.  It’s a loving consideration and observation of a fellow Pilgrim’s words and ways in hopes of “provoking (Grk. ‘paroxusmos’—‘inciting to good, stirring up, to sharpen alongside, etc.’) unto love and good works.”

Simply put, it’s being a Christian brother or sister to someone else.  Encouraging them when their discouraged.  Comforting them when they’re brokenhearted.  Giving counsel when they’ve lost their way.  Exhorting them when they’ve lost their way.

Let’s face it:

Life’s too short to be critical and cynical.  There are enough sarcastic, pessimistic people in the world without our becoming one of them.

Plus, assuming such an arrogant position is both sinful and un-Christlike (Mt. 7:1-5; Ps. 1:1); that’s why we should always be “Christian Cheerleaders” to our fellow Pilgrims, even as Barnabas was to Paul (Acts 4:36-37; 11:19-26).

Thankfully, the anonymous author of today’s Manna didn’t leave it up to us to determine where our “provoking” should end up:

“Unto love and good works.”  Glory!!

Aren’t those wonderful “Grace Goals” to which we all should be striving?

What would happen if everyone in the Church sudden became “Christian Contenders and Competitors,” to see who could best “love others as Christ has loved us” (Jn. 13:34; 15:12)?  Or, what changes would occur in the Body of Christ if each member devoted himself to a life of “good works that glorify the Father in Heaven” (Mt. 5:16)?

Why, we’d think we’d died and go to Heaven!

Dear Pilgrim, if there was ever a time for us to take today’s Manna seriously and to incarnate it in our lives, it’s now.  Every day more and more folks around us are losing hope and becoming increasingly disillusioned with the Church and the Gospel.  Such should not be!  God forbid!

That’s why we should pledge anew to be “Considerate Provokers” to those of the faith—for the hour is late and many precious souls hang in the balance.  May the Holy Spirit help us to be “change agents” in our churches whereby they’ll be transformed by Christ’s Love.  May we then go forth as “shining lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation” (Phil. 2:15).  Only then shall they know the Truth.  And, only then can we fulfill our purpose in life.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated March 7, 2011

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