Encourage, Stimulate, Motivate

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.

Force for Good

Hebrews 10: 24

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

That is a new thought but worth pondering. How do we encourage others so that their lives become expressions of love and good deeds or goodness? We are meant to be inspirational. Isn’t that something? Our lives are not only about us. They are about the impact we have on others and the effect that impact creates in them for yet other people. But to call it by another name, we are forces for good. We purposefully do good to others and stimulate them to do good to still others. And while I haven’t thought about it exactly in these terms before isn’t this still the story of a seed? 

Jesus asked, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it?” (Mark 4: 30). He answered the question by telling the story of the mustard seed. So the kingdom of God is like a seed. This is one of the largest, most profound and yet overlooked messages in the Bible. Let me repeat it, the kingdom of God is like a seed. So, if we wish to participate in the kingdom, then we all must become farmers. If you are not sowing seed then you are not taking part in the kingdom of God. We sow into other people’s lives. That is the first step to stimulating others into acts of love and kindness. But the message of this scripture isn’t necessarily about what we can do to inspire others but rather that we should give consideration to how we may stimulate others. In other words, this is supposed to be a subject of thought and prayer. This would be a good question to put before the Lord so that we can find out his thoughts.

One might also see in here a domino effect. If we do good unto others and motivate them to love and good deeds then it seems reasonable that they will inspire others, and on and on. One seed produces a whole plant which might represent all of the people in your life. The fruit of the plant has many, many seeds within it. So each of the people in your life has an abundant opportunity to sow seeds themselves which ultimately leads to many seeds of love and good deeds being cast abroad. From one seed, a seed as small as a mustard seed comes many thousands of acts of love and goodness. Ponder, consider how we might encourage each other to love and good deeds. Perhaps share your good ideas on our blogsite. If we share a little and encourage a little maybe very soon we can cover the area in a garden like Eden.