Monday, March 19th, 2018
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NKJV)
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
2 Timothy 4:2 (NASB)
Exhort one another daily, while it is called 'Today,' lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Hebrews 3:13 (NKJV)
Within the fellowship of faith, do we avoid urgent advice, wise recommendations, gentle warnings or kind corrections? Much less, the final step of 'eviction.'
'Yet this duty is greatly neglected. In what church is it performed? How often do church members see a fellow member go astray without any exhortation or admonition!' (Barnes Notes on the Bible re: Hebrews 3:13).
Albert Barnes lived in the 19th century. How much greater is this neglect today? Avoiding a congregational 'offense' seems to be modern church hymn with ancient ties and deadly tones.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: consider your priorities:
1) Concerning the people of the world, Paul says, 'What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?' (1 Corinthians 5:12). To them, be good news ambassadors.
2) Within the fellowship of faith, your job includes 'Teaching and admonishing one another...' (Colossians 3:16). But 'Restore that person gently' (Galatians 6:1).
'Let it be' is appropriate worldly advice. In this, Jesus was a Pacifist, a Lamb.
'Let is be' is inappropriate spiritual advice. In this, Jesus was an Activist, a Lion.
Regarding #2: We're not sinless like Jesus. Therefore, we must temper our activism with gentle humility. Even so, let's not confuse turning the other cheek with turning a blind eye.
Re-Read Christ's 7 Letters to the 7 churches to see what happens to churches who ignore inward corruption.
## Leadership Series: Exhortation (Part 35)
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Leadership series.