Wednesdays are usually really good days for me. Everyday I try to begin the day with Scripture and reflection on the gospel, but this is as an individual and while good, it doesn’t bring new angles or perspective always. But on Wednesdays I head out a little early and meet some guys to study the Bible together.
It is tremendously encouraging and often provides the appropriate reminder of biblical truth at the perfect time. Whether it is good for the other guys I don’t care as long as I am refreshed by it!
Last week we were reading Hebrews 3 and the point of the text matched this reality in my life and it is one I think we have lost a flavor for in the church.
“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. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.” (Hebrews 3:13-14 ESV)
What happens on Wednesday morning is exhortation. It is reminder, encouragement, retooling and steering in the right direction. That is what the guys do for each other. And the writer of Hebrews likes it; thinks it is vital even to ensure we don’t veer off course in life. But he says to do it every day. Every day that is called “today.”
Now I am not going to suggest we need to see the same faces every 24 hours but I am going to advocate for the pursuit of life-on-life exhortation and discipleship. I think it is far too easy to see the expression of our faith as a once-a-week function, or if you are a “good” North American Christian, a twice-a-week event (have a small group?!) What do we miss in between? Would it not be valuable, vital even to have exhortation, encouragement, comfort and correction in the midst of our weeks, on the days we are facing pressure at work, a hectic schedule of shuttling the kids from one event to another?
We frankly have brain drain. The “filling” we receive one day seeps out another and develops into heart drain leaving us discouraged and empty. We become hardened by the deceitfulness of distraction, disobedience and sin.
But Christian, you have come to share in Christ as you hold fast, keeping a grip on the original confidence, the gospel security of Christ’s grip on you. This is what we need to be reminded of day in and day out. So be exhorted, find people also holding firm to the gift of grace to encourage and preach the gospel to every day.
This will feel culturally absurd, to be in other peoples lives as they are in yours, because it is, but it is the better way of Christian community. But we can do it together and look funny as a group!
Open Scripture, remind each other of the promise and gift of Christ, and live.