As a kid I loved the “big” stories from the Bible:
-David and Goliath
-Elijah and the prophets of Baal
There was something so unique and so inspiring about them. About the God that was involved in those stories.
-A scrawny teenage kid with pimples and a few rocks in his pockets going to war with a renowned giant. Having faith that his God would see him through this battle of insurmountable odds. When nobody gave him a chance. Even he had to wonder, “is this possible…”
-Another kid at the bottom end of his brother’s food chain. His own brothers hated him so much they threw him in a well to be left for dead. At the bottom of the well he cried out for help. Eventually he was found. But his rescue turned out to be possibly worse than death. Merchants found him in the well and “rescued” him to become a slave. And through all of this pain and rejection God worked a miracle that would eventually bring reconciliation with this outcast brother to his entire family.
-A man whose friends and family most likely thought he was insane. Spending years building a ship that seemed like an extreme waste of time to everyone. But he held on to his faith in a God that was much bigger than he could comprehend.
The older I get, the easier it is to think that those are simply stories. That the God in those stories doesn’t really exist anymore. He isn’t really that big.
The older I have become, the easier it has been to shrink God into what I think He is. As a child I was filled with wonder about this huge God that could do anything. The great temptation now isn’t to discontinue believing in God. It is to believe that God is only slightly more powerful than I am.
I love being involved in the lives of young people and with students in high school and college who follow Jesus. Not because I long to be young again. Not because I miss the glory days of playing sports regularly and can live vicariously through them. I love teaching students and simply being around them because they still believe. They still believe and live their lives with a kind of recklessness that God is exactly who Elijah said God is. That He is so much more powerful than my 28 year old, safe, secure, responsible, good steward of life, self is prone to buy in to. They do crazy things for the sake of this God. And I am inspired because of it.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…”
Let’s really think about what it would take to motivate/push/awaken/excite/agitate/get under the skin of/offend/outrage/provoke/challenge/energize/spur/prompt/trigger/spark/hasten/inspire one another.
For the goal of what?
Fighting/convincing/eating chicken sandwiches/voting?
“Let’s consider how to stir up one another
to love and good works.”
verse 25 follows:
“not neglecting to meet together…but encouraging one another”
Encourage is defined “to inspire with courage”.
So on Saturday Brittany and I met 7 other married couples who don’t really know us or each other. Tonight quite a few of us went out to dinner.
Waitress: “What are you all celebrating?”
Us: “We just met”
Over the next year or so these other married couples will join us in trying to become a group of people that know each other well enough so that we can stir up one another.
With the purpose being to love greater. And to do some good works along the way.
We’ll meet most Tuesday evenings of the year and I’m praying we will not simply compliment one another (“that’s a nice outfit”), but also that we will inspire each other with courage to believe that God is just as big as He was when David was on the battlefield with no armor and a few rocks.
and that that God is continually drawing us into a growing loving relationship with Himself.