Exhort one another daily, while it is called 'Today,' lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
'Sin is always deceitful. It promises more than it performs. It assures us of pleasure which it never imparts. It leads us on beyond what was supposed when we began to indulge in it. The man who commits sin is always under a delusion; and sin, if he indulges it, will lead him on from one step to another until the heart becomes entirely hardened' (Barnes Notes on the Bible re: Hebrews 3:13).**
Albert Barnes, a renowned Bible scholar born way back in 1798, had a handle on sin's deceitfulness. Things haven't changed much between then and now, except media's magnification and justification of lawlessness. In a topsy, turvy, turned-around world, where parts of the church are turned around, too, God calls us to daily exhortation.*
To exhort is not just to encourage, but to warn and urgently admonish. The immediacy of this Order, putting 'daily' and 'today' in one Verse, emphasizes peer-to-peer vigilance. We can't simply depend on our pastors--nor even on our teachers and elders.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: As brethren in the body of Christ, you must see and tend to each other: as cheerleaders, teammates and coaches, in watchful friendships and kind corrections. Because you are
your brother's keeper.
In the mission fields of media, where sin is disguised and applauded, remain closely connected with kin.
'Preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction' (2 Timothy 4:2).
'Strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, 'We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God' ' (Acts 14:22).
'And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching' (Hebrews 10:24-25).
To Be Continued...
* Previous AMTC Devotion: Exhortation: http://amtcdevotions.org/exhortation
** Link to Bible Commentaries in Hebrews 3:13: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/hebrews/3-13.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Do-Gooders series.