Thursday, January 29, 2015

“Instruction does much, but encouragement everything."

“God is never a God of discouragement. When you have a discouraging spirit or train of thought in your mind, you can be sure it is not from God. He sometimes brings pain to his children-conviction over sin, or repentance over fallenness, or challenges that scare us, or visions of his holiness that overwhelm us. But God never brings discouragement.” – John Ortberg, Jr (Evangelical Christian author)

Scripture Text: (HEB 10:19-25 )
Brothers and sisters:
Since through the Blood of Jesus
we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary
by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil,
that is, his flesh,
and since we have “a great priest over the house of God,”
let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust,
with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
and our bodies washed in pure water.
Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope,
for he who made the promise is trustworthy.
We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works.
We should not stay away from our assembly,
as is the custom of some, but encourage one another,
and this all the more as you see the day drawing near.

In the letter to the Hebrews noted above, we are urged to “rouse one another to love and good works” and to “encourage one another.” This is accomplished in part by membership in a faith community and by gathering together: “We should not stay away from our assembly (HEB 10: 25).”

“To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away (Mk 4:21-25).” Where faith is concerned, more is more. I also think of the Jesuit charism of magis, which means “the more” or “the greater.” Striving for greater things, giving one’s best, doing the utmost--this is how we grow in faith, love, and community. And by growing the kingdom of God on earth, we can look forward to the time when we see His face in eternity.

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