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Are You Provoking Anyone


Some provoking is good, some is not. Fathers are not to provoke their children to anger (Eph. 6:4). But Christians are to “consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works” (Heb. 10:24). Instead of “provoke,” the New American Standard uses the term “stimulate.” The English Standard Version says to “Stir up.” We get the idea. This kind of provoking, stimulating, and stirring up is good.

Stir people up to love. God is love. Show people God’s love and they will be stimulated. They will be enriched and motivated. They too, will be inclined to share their love with others. Stimulate people with your love. “Let brotherly love continue” (Heb. 13:1).

Stir people up to good works. Christians were “created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Eph. 2:10). Your example of good works inspires others to engage in the same. Good works are contagious. They bless. But how do we stir up people to love and good works. Three ways:

1) By our presence in the assembly. “Not neglecting to meet together” (Heb. 10:25). Our regular worship attendance is a good work. God has called us together on the first day of every week “to break bread” (Ac. 20:7). Our presence means much to God. Your very presence in the assembly charges the souls of others. Your presence is powerful.

2) By our participation in worship. We “meet together” (Heb. 10:25) to worship, not just to meet together. Seeing someone sitting like a lump on a log in worship is not very stimulation. It does little to stir the spirits of fellow saints. But to hear a child of God enthusiastically sing praises to their Maker, brethren communing together in the Lord’s Supper as one body, observing the hunger of brethren for God’s nourishing Word, engaging in the joint fellowship of giving, and collectively calling out to our Creator through prayer is invigorating. Love grows to another level each Lord’s Day. Participation is precious. It stirs! It edifies! It builds up!

3) By our personal encouragement or others. In the assembly there is a mutual “encouraging one another” that should occur (Heb. 10:25). Don’t ever underestimate that handshake or hug. Don’t minimize the “Good to see you” greeting. Don’t discount the inquiry, “How are things going?” Your smile can soothe a troubled soul. Your genuine interest can make a huge difference. But your personal encouragement is possible only if you are present. You can’t personally encourage if you practice “the habit of some” and “neglect” the assembly. Are you provoking anyone?

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