Acts 17:13-14 “But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came there also and stirred up the crowds.”
Whenever you see someone trying to stir up others, ask yourself the simple question; “Why?” What is their motivation? Is the motivation love because you know this person has so obviously cared about others in the past? Or, does the motivation seem unnatural because this person, who has shown little care in the past, all of a sudden is now saying something ‘because they care’. Be careful.
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” NKJV
The motivation of the crowd in Acts17:13 was envy. It is no great gift to stir others up in a bad way. It takes no talent nor discretion, and very little wisdom to stir up others in strife, envy or confusion. In the book of Hebrews, Paul exhorts us to stir one another up:
Heb 10:24-25 “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.” NKJV
Notice what Paul says ‘stirring up’ produces. Instead of strife, envy, confusion and discontentment, stirring up others should produce love and good works based in fellowship. This is important. Will the end result be encouragement or discouragement? It should be encouragement. Our faith, in action, should provoke others to love and good works. Sadly, there are Christians who do nothing. They don’t stir even themselves up much less provoke anyone else to do good things. How self-centered. Fellowship with God should never be selfish, but should include others and serve others. We should love one another enough to be encouragers. It’s not about what we get from fellowship, but it’s what we give or contribute to fellowship.
- Can you stir people up in a good way?
- Can you help people continue on when they doubt?
- Can you help people hang in there when they are weak?
Yes, you can, and friend, that is an incredible gift.
Life Lesson: We should stir one another up to good works not to strife, envy, confusion and discontentment.
Thank You for allowing me to serve you each day. I pray that I would be an encourager and please forgive me for the times when I have not. Please give me opportunities to encourage my friends and family to love and do good works, and give me the discernment to know when my motivation is wrong. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee
Cross the Bridge
Scripture quotations marked ‘NKJV™’ are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2013 Cross the Bridge.
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