In Chapter three of the book of Hebrews, the author exhorts his readers to “consider” Jesus. He wants them to think about Jesus especially in light of His superiority to prophets, angels, Moses, the Law and the Levitical priesthood. “Consider” means to think deeply about. It means to meditate on and come to a deeper understanding. He presents Jesus as the ultimate and final sacrifice for the sins of man and that through faith in Him we have peace with God and assurance regarding our final destiny.  We can relax, resting in Christ who accomplished for us what we could not do for ourselves. This is all part of God’s promises to us through the Old Testament and their fulfillment in the person of Jesus. Just as all prophecy was fulfilled in Christ, so too will all the promises and prophecies that Christ gave us be fulfilled. We can trust Jesus. So in 10:23 he urges us to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

He wanted his readers to think seriously and clearly about Jesus. But there is something else he wants us to think clearly about. In Hebrews 10:24 he writes, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” Most sermons I’ve heard on this passage end up being an exhortation to love more and try harder, give more, serve more, etc. Preachers take this verse as a personal exhortation to stir up their congregation by exhortation, manipulation, guilt, rewards and/or a variety of other methods; anything to get the congregation more involved in sharing their faith and serving in the church and community. They rarely talk about the what the verse is really saying: “think about how” we are all motivated towards love and good deeds.

The author of Hebrews is not telling preachers to stir up their congregation for service. He’s telling us all to “think” about what stirs people up to love and good works. What is it that moves us to love God and love others? Well, John tells us what that is. In 1 John 4:9 he tells us that “we love because God first loved us.” Paul prays for the Ephesians in 3:17-19 of his letter to them that “Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” When we get a glimpse of God’s love for us as expressed on the cross and sink our “roots” into that, it will produce the Spiritual fruit, the first of which is love! Good deeds flow from that! One writer put it this way, “God’s love fills us up and makes us want to love others with that same unconditional love. It inspires us to serve, to be selfless, to reach higher and to become all that we can be so we can bring Him glory.” (See