and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Have you ever doubted the significance of church? Have you ever questioned the value of gathering with others believers and whether our involvement in the church really matters to God or other believers?

The writer of Hebrews spoke directly to these questions in today’s passage. The simple truth is this: we are better together. We need each other. We need layers of support and encouragement in our walk with Christ. Following God requires commitment, hard choices, sacrifices, and diligence. There are valleys. There are mountaintops. And there are many places in between. The path is easier to travel when we have the company of brothers and sisters in Christ.

We are often most vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy when we are isolated. If he can make us feel lonely, worthless, and abandoned, we are more likely open to despair. When we are together with other believers, we are stronger. We are inspired. We are much less susceptible to whatever the enemy hurls our way. We are reminded through our brothers and sisters in Christ of how much we are loved and that we are never alone. God has called us to be this support for one another and also to receive support from others who love Him and us.

• On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being low and 10 being high, how important of a role does being involved in church have in your life? How does your life give evidence to support your answer?

• How can you stimulate someone else to love and good deeds today?

• Ask God for a renewed since of joy and appreciation for His local church. Thank Him for the opportunity and the right to attend church freely in our nation. Thank Him for the fellow believers He has used to make an impact in your life. Ask Him who He wants you to specifically encourage this week and how He wants you to do so.