1. This morning we showed from the Scriptures that the Lord will bless those who overcome (prevail and conquer without giving up). 2. The book of Hebrews is designed to help Christians overcome. 3. In this letter we find some valuable information, as well as a number of instructions, that will help us to overcome. 4. In Hebrews 3:13, a very important matter is addressed -- Christians are instructed to "exhort" [encourage] one another. a. This is something that the Lord wants us to do on a regular basis. b. Encouragement will help us to avoid being "hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." 5. "Exhorting one another" is also emphasized in Hebrews 10:25. 6. Since Christians are to encourage one another, this is the subject we are studying.
I. AS WE SEEK TO EXHORT ONE ANOTHER, LET US AVOID THINGS THAT DISCOURAGE
A. "Pessimism" (the 10 spies -- Deuteronomy 1:28) B. "Foolish advice" (Epliphaz -- Job 4:8; 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. "Provoking others to anger" (Colossians 3:21).
II. AS WE SEEK TO EXHORT ONE ANOTHER, LET US IMITATE POSITIVE EXAMPLES
A. Two of Judah's best kings, Hezekiah and Josiah, were encouragers. 1. (2 Chronicles 31:4) Hezekiah issued 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 encouragers of all was a man named Barnabas. 1. He encouraged the needy through his benevolence (Acts 4:34-37). 2. He encouraged Saul by speaking up for him (Acts 9:26-27). 3. He encouraged the church in Antioch (Acts 11:22-26). 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 and imitate effective encouragers.
III. AS WE SEEK TO EXHORT ONE ANOTHER, LET US CONSIDER SOME SPECIFIC WAYS WE CAN ENCOURAGE OTHERS
A. Those who are older can encourage the young -- God told Moses to encourage Joshua (Deuteronomy 1:38; 31:7-8). B. You can let someone know that you are praying for him/her (Luke 22:31-32). C. You can encourage others through good deeds like Dorcas (Acts 9:36, 39; Matthew 5:16). D. You can encourage others through words (Acts 11:23; Proverbs 25:11). E. You can encourage others through writing. 1. The writer of Hebrews referred to his letter as "the word of exhortation" (13:22). 2. Written encouragement includes cards, letters, notes, etc.
1. In the world we have to contend with many things that are discouraging. 2. In the church, Christ wants His followers to encourage one another (Hebrews 3:13). 3. May each child of God do his best to exhort his brothers and sisters to overcome!