Our Take Up Your Sword reading plan had us in Hebrews 3 at the end of last week. In it, we’re given an important reason not to neglect the regular gathering of the local church. Maybe you’ve never considered these verses in this way before.
“ 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.  For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end (Hebrews 3:12–14).”
For years, I read verse 12 as a personal and individual warning in the “Each one should search his or her own heart!” category. But when we recognize that verse 13 is the antidote to keep hearts from drifting into unbelief and being hardened by sin’s deceitfulness, I think the author is speaking collectively.
The way we “take care” (v. 12) is by “exhorting one another every day.” This is what will have an inoculating affect against the anesthetizing influence of sin. We take care by keeping a loving watch over one another. We take care of one another by living out our responsibility to encourage one another to keep leaving sin behind and running toward Jesus. And one of the regularly scheduled times we’ve been instructed to do this is when we gather as a church to “let the word of Christ dwell in us richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in our hearts to God (Colossians 3:16).”
In our passage of Luke’s Gospel this Sunday, Jesus gives his disciples instructions for following him as citizens of his kingdom. Practical living. Profound living. Gospel-informed and Spirit-empowered living. Words that can keep calluses from forming on our hearts because of sin’s deceitfulness. We need this time together, Grace.
Kenny Clark will be preaching Luke 17:1-10 and Walt Harrah will be leading our sung worship. Would you pray for each as they prepare? Set aside some time before Sunday to read this passage or Luke and pray Hebrews 3:12-14 for yourself and for our Grace family as we gather.
See you Sunday, Grace. Come hungry!
Song Link of the Week
O Church, Arise by Keith and Kristyn Getty
O Church Arise and put your armor on
Hear the call of Christ our Captain
For now the weak can say that they are strong
In the strength that God has given
With shield of faith and belt of truth
We’ll stand against the devil’s lies
An army bold whose battle-cry is Love
Reaching out to those in darkness