How to Live This Life Together

 In Tori Smith

I love the book of Hebrews for its rich insight into the divinity of Christ and its certainty that Christ is the only perfect sacrifice that is acceptable to God in completely, permanently taking away our sin. I find great assurance and joy in knowing that because of Christ – I can go boldly, confidently into God’s presence without fear that is caused by my failures or short comings.  Read the promise of the scriptures – for it contains the same assurance for you as well.

“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:19-23 NIV

Those are great words aren’t they?  Life giving words even; in Christ we have it all.  That in itself would be enough. But because we are going through this life together there is more. For in this same passage, Hebrews also has some wise counsel for us as we live out this life that challenges our faith and attempts to draw us away from the only hope we have.  

Hebrews 10:24-25 continues “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  

It is wonderful to set our sights on Heaven.  It is the right thing to do.  However, before we get there we must navigate our way through this life.  And this life is full of challenges that attempt to take away our joy and peace at best and our faith in Christ at worst.  It’s easy to get discouraged when sickness, bills, family problems, addictions, failures in business or marriages or parental decisions happen. It’s easy to give up on Christ when we are being persecuted for our beliefs by a world that is telling us we are wrong. This passage in Hebrews offers help in overcoming all of the challenges we face.  Don’t give up in meeting together.  Worship is a wonderful place to meet with others and be encouraged by the music and preaching.  But there is more – small groups. It is where a few meet together to do the very thing that Hebrews instructs us to do – spur one another on to live life as Christ lived, and to encourage one another when the difficulties arise.   

I know you hear “get in a small group” all the time.  In fact, it is one of the visions of Hope Church that each one would be in worship, in a small group, and in mission. Being in a small group is not just about filling the vision though; it is about being able to live out these two verses in Hebrews.   It is about finding a place to share the journey.  Being in a small group means there is place where you can open up and grow together. Small group is a place where you can explore the depths of the Bible and be challenged to go into the deep in your faith.  Small Group is a place there you can join with others to accomplish a mission or ministry project.  Small group is a place where you can get encouragement when life becomes hard and share joy when life is good! 

It won’t be long until we start our fall kick-off for the new groups to start or ones who have taken a break for the summer to resume.  As we approach this time of the year, I want to encourage you to listen to this very wise counsel from Hebrews – Don’t neglect the meeting together.  Make a commitment to be a part of a small group, where you can find a family to share the journey!


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