Literally this is God’s call on us to consider one another, that is, to look at one another, think about one another, focus on one another, study one another, let your mind be occupied with one another. And the goal of this focus on others is to think of ways of stimulating them to love and good deeds.
Below are some ways I think we can begin to encourage one another in love and good works.
The first note to make is that what I quoted above is only half of the thought. Verse 25 goes onto to say “not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some.” Therefore the first step in stirring one another up is showing up.
Go to the prayer meetings. Go to Sunday school. Show up to church on time. Stay a little afterwards. Have people over to eat with you. Get involved in small groups. Be together and love and good works may begin to abound. All the rest of the ways of encouraging one another is assuming that people are getting together.
Setting an Example
Second, seeing others doing good works encourages us to do the same. It is called the “do-good chain” and Liberty Mutual built a successful advertising campaign off it. Paul says in Philippians 3:17 , “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.” So part of being together is simply observing how one responds to situations. Teaching does not only happen when someone is behind the lectern.
There is place to command someone to love and good works. Sometimes we need to say, “Do not neglect to show hospitality” and “Pray for us” and “Remember those who are in prison.” The author of Hebrews was not scared of commanding his audience to do things, we should not be as well.
Looking to the Reward
Jesus endured suffering and shame “for the joy that was set before him.” Moses took upon himself to lead the Israelites out of Egypt because “he was looking to the reward.” Christians are leery of speaking of rewards because of the way they can be abused. But the Scriptures tell us to use the rewards as motivation to spur love and good works.
Pointing to Jesus
Ultimately our love tank will run out unless we are getting an endless amount of love from some other source. Therefore the author of the Hebrews tells us to run with endurance “looking to Jesus.” Talk about what Jesus has done for you all the time, and thankfulness will pour forth in good works.
These are just some of the practical ways we can begin to obey this command.