“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”Hebrews 10:24
A Sunday School member posted on our class prayer app that they were taking their daughter to the emergency room. Immediately, ten people posted prayers for them. Another time, some members lost power in their homes with below-freezing temperatures. Several members offered their homes or to pay for their hotel stay. Our class outreach team learned of a couple struggling in their marriage, so prayers were lifted up for them, and my wife and I provided biblical counseling to them. Our Sunday School provides a community where believers can “spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
Jesus commanded, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). Paul wrote, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Sunday School provides a community for us to obey these commands. Love sometimes involves prayer, sometimes presence, sometimes giving, and sometimes counsel. It always involves carrying each other’s burdens. As we love one another, we manifest the power of the message and love of Christ to transform lives.
The writer of Hebrews declared that in view of their salvation in Christ (REACH, Hebrews 10:19-22) and their sure hope in the promises of God (TEACH, Hebrews 10:23), believers should consider how they might “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (MINISTER, Hebrews 10:24). We evangelize people by sharing the gospel; we instruct people in the Word of God; and we serve people through acts of love and good deeds.
The exhortation in Hebrews 10:24 is not just an instruction to act. The words “consider how to spur one another” invites believers to explore creative ways to motivate and inspire each other. Learning is interactive. Unlike the main service, during class members are encouraged to ask questions, provide testimony, and give comments. Some members meet daily to study the Bible together. Others meet once a month. We visit parks together, fish together, share meals together, and serve the needy in our communities together. Deeply aware of our own spiritual shortcomings, yet awed by the wonder of God’s grace, we humbly encourage and admonish each other to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow Him (Luke 9:23).
We do this with the return of Christ in view, when He will gather us all together to be with Him forever in glory (Hebrews 10:25; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2; 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18). This shared hope of a glorious and eternal future with Christ helps us to set aside selfishness, pride, greed, anger, malice, and jealousy so that we can genuinely serve one another. Paul wrote, “The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). Our Sunday School class has expressed this goal in this way: to help each other become all that God has created and called and gifted us to be.