Although many people do their outdoor grilling with propane and propane accessories, there are still some who go with the old charcoal grill. The key to a good hot grill is in the stacking of the briquettes into a neat pile before lighting them. If this is not done, it is likely the white hot fire will never get going. At the most, the briquettes will become warm but quickly grow cold and die.
The New Testament lesson for today operates with the same principle. “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Just as a pile of charcoal needs all the individual briquettes together in order to become hot and not grow cold, so every Christian needs other Christians to speak into his/her life every day. If this dynamic does not happen, the heart will grow cold and hard and eventually lead, if unchecked, to a falling away from the faith.
There is much we can learn from the Korean church on this matter. Every day they have opportunities early in the morning to gather together for prayer and encouragement before going off to their jobs and busy lives. There is a reason that the Korean church has grown hot for God with many Christians and lots of missionaries going all over the world. It would be not only wise, but necessary to re-think and re-do our American spiritual practices to better accommodate and reflect an obedience to these very verses in Hebrews.
Blessed Holy Trinity, I have been made in your image – the image of the triune God. Help me to reflect that image every day by encouraging my fellow believers and allowing them to exhort me toward love and good deeds in the faith of Jesus Christ. Amen.