and let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.
When we come to a saving knowledge of Christ, we are grafted into a greater family. We are not called to walk this life alone but alongside the body of believers. This means two things. First, we should be able to rely on the encouragement from our fellow Christians when we are in need of it. Second, we should be prepared to provide that same encouragement when others need it. This encouragement is the fruit of maintaining relationships that honor and lead us closer to God.
It is not enough to share your worship and learning time with other believers if this produces no personal relationships. We are irons that are designed to sharpen each other. We are to work together as one body for the sake of God’s kingdom, but we cannot work together if we remain separate. Jesus said that we will be known by our love for one another. [John 13:35] Division within the church only indicates to the world that we are no different, but we are indeed different.
As Christians, we are commanded to support each other and be united in this purpose. [1 Pet. 3:8] Division is the enemy’s goal; unity is the Father’s goal. Whose purposes do we desire to fulfill? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. [Ecc. 4:12] Father, remind us that we are designed to walk together in power for the advancement of your kingdom, and increase our desire to love and support one another.