“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
Sometimes when we use verses that drive home an important point that every believer needs, we often miss another truth that the same verse teaches. The riches of God’s Word cannot be contained to one phrase in a verse, but we must always stop to see what all of God’s Word teaches so that we can become the best believer and have the best churches for the LORD.
The verse above is one of those verse where we tend to miss another important truth. One of the reasons believers are not to miss church is so that they can exhort each other. The verse above commands, “but exhorting one another.” What does it mean to exhort one another? The word “exhort” means to encourage, put pressure on, or to challenge. In other words, the believer is to be a cheerleader for every other believer. We are to put pressure on others by our example to do right. Let me share several observations and ways that you can be an exhorter to others.
First, you can exhort others by not criticizing them. It is easy to criticize and tear down, but it takes character to find a reason to exhort people so that God can use them. The easiest thing to do is to find a reason to criticize what others do because everyone is a sinner, and sin has a way of exposing the character flaws of others. You will never exhort people to do more for Christ by criticizing them. You should do the charactered thing of finding the good in people to encourage them instead of doing the easy thing of criticizing.
Second, go to church. I know this seems obvious, but being in church does encourage others to do right. People don’t come to come to church to be criticized, but they come to church to receive encouragement. You discourage fellow believers when you stay home. I would hate to think that my absence from church discouraged someone, which caused them to stop coming to church and end up living a life in sin. Your presence in church is not only commanded but needed to encourage your fellow believers to continue serving God.
Third, find reasons to encourage what people do. Everybody does something that can be praised. Always have a word of praise for people when they do right. It is the praise of the little things that encourages people to step up to do more. Leaders especially must be filled with praise more than rebuke. Praise puts pressure on people to do more for God.
Fourth, have a good attitude. There is nothing like seeing people with a smile on their face that encourages others who are going through tough times. My friend, work on your expressions of smiling. People will want to spend time around you to be encouraged if you learn to smile through the tough times.
Fifth, pray with people in their tough times. One thing you can always do is ask someone if you can pray with them when they are going through tough times. Instead of asking them how they are doing, pray with them that God would help them in their tough time.
Sixth, be a producer for Christ. Being an example of leading people to Christ and bringing them to church will exhort people to do more for the LORD. You will be an exhorter of the brethren if you will be a producer in the church.