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Hebrews 10: 24

Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.

The key word in this verse is “stimulate.” Other versions use the word “encourage.” We have a role in the body of Christ which is to encourage. I take special note that the verse isn’t giving me permission or license to boss others, or harangue them. We are to be encouragers. Usually judgment and criticism do not make the best encouragement. How, then, can we stimulate others to demonstrate the love of God and to express that love in kind deeds?

I suppose the first step in leadership is to be a good follower so we might look at our leaders, those who encourage us in the faith, for clues. The second step might be to lead by example. I doubt we will be able to stimulate others into any course of action which we do not first model.

This passage is not intended to stimulate ourselves or others into empty, dead works. Works which are not motivated by love will eventually smell like so much rotten fruit. The good deeds come out of love. They are an expression of the love of God. That is why the author mentioned love first. When love comes, a natural by-product is kind, good deeds.

One thing we can all do is to remark on people’s kind gestures of the goodness of God. We can acknowledge them. You know people who ooze kindness. A word of appreciation to them certainly would not go amiss. Perhaps you are a business owner or a supervisor. You have opportunities to praise people and even reward their acts of kindness. Doing so conveys a clear message that love inspired kindness is something you value. Of course, do not overlook what you can teach your children. However, if there is anyone in your circle of friends, family and co-workers who demands a model, it is your children. They will do what they see you do and they will most certainly notice if you are all talk.

In all ways, be an encourager. People need to be lifted up daily. Give them honest praise and recognition. Plant your seeds of kindness in them and you will see the harvest in the fruit of their actions.

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