It is the last football game of the season, we are in the 4th quarter and the game is tied. A time out is called. All eyes go to the cheerleaders who are lined up with pom-poms flailing. Smiles spread across their faces, a deep breath is taken: “Ready and…” Knowing what comes next, we all stand to our feet. “We have spirit yes we do, we have spirit how bout YOU!” We all become excited, our yelling becomes louder and LOUDER. We are now ONE, we ARE the LIONS! Liken to that of a swarm of bees we huddle our voices with such intensity we explode over the rival team on the other side of the stadium.
You can see it and feel the excitement can’t you! This is what the writer of the book of Hebrews is trying to portray when he encourages, “Consider how we may SPUR one another on toward love and good deeds” (10:24, emphasis mine) Ok, so we may not want to imagine Paul in a cheerleading sweater with a big ‘J’ on his chest, yet this speaks with wording that could indeed incite such excitement. Prior verses exhort us in our personal faith and hope, now we are admonished to look to others, cheer them on to love. The triune graces of the Christian character, faith, hope and love.
I love that word ‘spur’, sounds a little dangerous doesn’t it. But before any ‘spurring’ is to take place we are called to ‘consider.’ The King James words it, “And let us consider one another …” It literally means to ‘take notice.’ Ever been speaking to someone and you know they are not paying attention, whether looking you in the eyes or in attitude. We are no longer doing that, we diligently acknowledging our brothers and sisters, are we looking AT them, noticing THEM, regardless of their imperfections and our differences.
Spur, to stir up, provoke, to encourage someone to action or feeling. In addition, my lovely geeky resources add, “It is the endeavor to excite one another.” Like that of a cheerleader, may we encourage in such a way that we get others EXCITED to love God and love our fellow-man AND (we aren’t finished yet!) conduct our lives in beautiful behavior. Jesus says, “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples.” – John 13:34-35 Just like the cheerleaders at the football game, exciting the crowd to be one, BE the LIONS, so we too are cheering each other on, we ARE the CHRIST FOLLOWERS! Now LOVE and let your behavior be GOOD! As one scholar noted “There is no danger that Christians will ever be excited to love each other too much, or to perform too many good works.”
Need more motive? The opposite of this verse, renders the idea of being quiet and still. What if that person who spoke love and strong encouragement into YOUR life … kept quiet, or the one whose actions caused great healing for you, were to keep still?
How are YOUR cheerleading skills?
SPUR on folks!
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another one towards love & good deeds” – Heb. 10:24)