Summary: A sermon on Hebrews 10:24-25 about connectivity (Material adapted from David Jeremiah's book, Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World, chapter 5 Stay Connected
Mary Saunders, a missionary’s helper in Africa, described a regular meeting she had with a new Christian in Somalia. The regular appointment was secret because the area was Muslim and did not tolerate other religions. On this particular evening, Mary reviewed the memory verse the young Somali had been learning. “This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24 KJV). After discussing the verse, Mary sang the familiar chorus based on that verse. The young man was delighted. The idea of singing raised a question for him: “When there is more than one Christian, what other things do you do?” We can and should experience the presence of God alone, but special things are experienced and happen when Christians gather together. Think of the things we would miss if there was just one of us?
In 9 days we will celebrate our country’s Independence Day. We need to be thankful that we live in a place where we can worship God freely and without the fear of persecution. Can we image how we would feel about freedom of worship if it were ever denied us?
In this section of Scripture we see several things, but the one thing I want us to see is connectivity. The writer of Hebrews is not just exhorting believers in Jesus Christ to worship together like we do today in church buildings. Yes, the writer is saying that worship attendance isn’t an option for Christians. However, if we take a closer look at the first generation of Christians, we see that it meant more than that. According to Acts those first Christians assembled in two ways: publicly and privately.
Thesis: Consider what happens when we become a part of each other’s lives.
We promote love (Vs. 24- And let us consider how we may spur (or stir up- English Standard Version) one another on toward love)
The New Testament is a “one another” book, not something written for the hermit in the wilderness. The writer of Hebrews wants to remind us that coming together keeps us connected by Christian love.
Togetherness is one of the main ingredients of love- so simple we almost miss it. If we neglect to gather together, we drift apart from one another and become disconnected. Being together reminds us of the needs we each have. We share out concerns, we laugh and eat together, we worship at the throne of grace side by side, and God knits our hearts in love.
Faith, hope and love grow within us as we come to church and interact together: faith in Christ, hope in the future, and love for each other as our hearts intertwine into a true family. That’s something we all long for in this world. Deep in our souls, we don’t want to sit anonymously in the pews. We are unsatisfied by coming, hearing a sermon, and going home. We want to know and be known, not only by God but by His children. We have to put ourselves forward and that comes with risks, but there is a deep need, to stir up the love that God has given us to share.
The baseball player Reggie Jackson referred to himself as “the straw that stirs the drink.” Cocky and outspoken, he had a knack for keeping the adrenaline flowing among his teammates. Hebrews is telling each of us to be the straw that stirs the drink in fellowship together as we stir up love among God’s people.
We need a church that is stir crazy- a place where we stir each other up in love.
Some people come out of the worship service and think, “I got nothing out of that.” Let me say that there are times when that will be the case. Nothing stirred us. This is called a worship service, not an inspirational or entertaining show. This is a service. Maybe the Lord wants us to think about how we can serve others instead of how the church can serve us. Maybe we should consider others more than ourselves.
I love it at the end of the worship times here. People standing around talking. Reminds me of the first church where I preached. Went there as a bachelor and for the first year didn’t have many friends except in the church. I longed to see my friends at church.
2 studies found that over the last 20 years, the number of people reporting that they had no one with whom they could really share important issues had tripled. Nearly half of all Americans, claimed the studies, had either one intimate friend or none at all.