1. In our lesson we are concentrating on "an important activity" mentioned in this verse. 2. We learn from this verse that God's people are to "exhort one another." Discussion: I. LET US FIRST EXAMINE WHAT THIS VERSE TEACHES US TO DO
A. In Hebrews 3:7-12 a warning is given against developing a hard heart that will lead to a departure from God. B. On the basis of this warning, God's people are to exhort one another: 1. "daily" [on a regular basis] 2. "today" [while opportunities are present]. C. Participating in this important activity may: 1. prevent someone from being "hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" 2. help someone to remain steadfast (Hebrews 10:23-25). II. TO BE EFFECTIVE EXHORTERS, WE MUST ELIMINATE AND AVOID THINGS THAT CAUSE DISCOURAGEMENT
A. We must eliminate and avoid "pessimism" as demonstrated by the 10 spies (Deuteronomy 1:27-28). B. We must eliminate and avoid giving "foolish advice" as demonstrated by Epliphaz (Job 4:8) and Zophar (Job 11:6). 1. Job needed some encouragement, but his friends did not help him. 2. He called his friends "miserable comforters" (Job 16:2). C. We must eliminate and avoid "provoking others to anger" (Colossians 3:21). D. Let us avoid things such as these that will cause others to be discouraged. III. TO BE EFFECTIVE EXHORTERS, LET US LEARN FROM POSITIVE EXAMPLES
A. Two of Judah's best kings, Hezekiah and Josiah, were exhorters. 1. (2 Chronicles 31:4) Hezekiah gave a command for the benefit of the priests and the Levites "that they might be encouraged in the law of the Lord." 2. (2 Chronicles 35:2) Concerning the priests, Josiah "encouraged them to the service of the house of the Lord." B. One of the greatest exhorters of all was a man named Barnabas. 1. He encouraged the needy through his generosity (Acts 4:36-37). 2. He encouraged Saul by speaking up for him (Acts 9:26-27). 3. He encouraged the church in Antioch (Acts 11:22-24). 4. He encouraged John Mark. a. (Acts 13:1-5) Mark accompanied Barnabas and Saul on their missionary journey. b. (Acts 13:13) For some reason Mark returned to Jerusalem. c. (Acts 15:36-40) Barnabas insisted on giving Mark another opportunity. C. Let us learn from these great exhorters and follow their examples. Conclusion:
1. In the world we have to contend with many things that are discouraging. 2. In the church, Christ wants His followers to "exhort one another" (Hebrews 3:13).