The Holy Spirit, through the authorship of the Apostle Paul, directs us to excel in the grace of giving.
7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you —see that you excel in this act of grace also. 2 Corinthians 8:7
Although Paul was specifically talking about giving money and other goods, he would welcome the grace of giving in all forms.
In alignment with our Lord’s ministry, we excel in the grace of giving life.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
We excel in the grace of giving Paul’s timeless trilogy, faith, hope and love.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13
Today’s lesson is designed to help us excel in the grace of giving love.
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:19-25
Notice Paul’s timeless trilogy in this text.
- 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith
- 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering
- 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works
Here we discover a huge emphasis upon the group of people who have placed their faith in Christ’s once for all sacrifice.
10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:10
Nine times in these seven verses we read group the group terms of we, us and our.
The common denominator in this group is that “we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” 10:10
All other differences are transcended by the all-encompassing greatness of this common truth.
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. Galatians 3:27-29
God’s grace of salvation is not limited by national (Jew or Greek), economic/power (slave nor free), or gender (male and female) differences. Everyone is invited to experience sanctification “through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
We, this very diverse group who have been made one in Christ, have confidence to enter, together, the holy places by the blood of Jesus. Hebrews 10:19
We, this very diverse group who have been made one in Christ, draw near together.
- We draw near to the holy places (19)
- We draw near to the great priest over the house of God (21)
- We draw near to the house of God (21)
- We draw near to God.
In this process we are to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” (24)
Sometimes the original language is more expansive in meaning than an English word can capture. This is the case with ‘consider’ in this text.
The word would be translated “to think down along.”
Moving from translation to meaning we understand the following:
- To think from up to down to a conclusion
- To consider exactly, attentively and decisively
- To concentrate by fixing one’s thinking
- To understand fully, consider closely
- Thinking decisively to a definite clear understanding.
The intentionality, purposefulness and contemplation necessary to “consider how to stir one another up to love and good works” is humbling.
- How well must I know you to understand those things that stir you up to love more effectively?
- How much time and resources given to thought, preparation and presentation are required for me to do well at stirring you up to love more effectively?
- How much of my agenda and life scripts for you must be removed so that I can do well at stirring you up to love more effectively?
With this definition, to excel in the grace of giving love is a significant commitment.
Today’s consecration response is intended to solidify your commitment to excel in the grace of giving love by “considering how to stir up one another to love and good deeds.”
Please list one person within the Muldoon Community Assembly church family that you commit to stir up to love and good deeds.
Please list one person outside of the Muldoon Community Assembly church family that you commit to stir up to love and good deeds.
MCA Life Groups
LISTEN: MY STORY
Have you had an experience that inspired you to love others more effectively?
LEARN: DIGGING DEEPER
- Please read Philippians 2:1-4.
- What might be the consequences of selfish ambition on the health of your Life Group?
- What might be the consequences of conceit on the health of your Life Group?
- What might be the consequences of “in humility count others more significant than yourselves?”
- What might be the consequences of “look also to the interests of others?”
LIFE: TAKING IT HOME
- Pastor Kent asked us to list one person within MCA Church and one person outside of MCA Church to intentionally, purposefully and contemplatively spur on toward greater love and good works. Is there a way your Life Group can assist you in this?
- Would this be a good time in your life to thank someone who has stirred you up to love more effectively?
LIFT: PRAYING WITH ONE ANOTHER
- Please pray that each member of your Life Group will be anointed to stir up others to love and good deeds.
- Please pray for the person you selected to stir up to love and good deeds.
- Please pray for the MCA Thanksgiving feast. Pray for God’s love to be experienced by all.