Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Positive Provocation

24 And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
--Hebrews 10:24-25

At the outset of the sermon on Sunday at Advent UMC, I stated my goal: To convince everyone who is not currently a part of a small group (Sunday school class, home group, or small group Bible study) to take a leap of faith and find a group to join.  The reason?  Because growth happens in groups.  Spiritual growth happens as we connect to God and each other in community focused on the study of Scripture and prayer.  With that in mind, we turned to the book of Hebrews and the author’s admonition to “provoke one another to love and good deeds.”  
Again, provocation generally has a negative connotation, but here in Hebrews we are encouraged toward positive provocation, provocation to love and good deeds.  
Left to our own devices, we usually choose to maintain the status quo.  This is true in many areas of our lives--our fitness level, our bad habits, our spiritual lives, etc.--which is why we need each other.  We need trusted friends to walk this journey with us, hold our hands occasionally, pick us up when we get down, pray for us--especially when we can’t pray ourselves.  Occasionally, we need someone to challenge us and jar us out of a faith rut.  We all need a group to help “provoke us to love and good deeds.” 
So, who in your life provokes you to love and good deeds? Do you have a group that is encouraging you, spurring you on, praying for you? Do you have people in your life, trusted friends, who are fostering growth in your relationship with Jesus?  Are you provoked?  
Growth happens in groups.

Positively provoked,
Pastor Michael

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great new small group...:Love and Good Deeds!