Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014 “Provoked To Irritation”

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24)

Good Morning Partners in Prayer!

Have you ever found yourself sitting behind an inattentive driver at a traffic light as the signal turns green and the distracted driver ahead of you fails to move? I believe I can safely say that for those of you who drive, this has happened. Not only that…you may have also been the inattentive driver yourself on occasion! The usual and understandable reaction to such inattentiveness is the beeping of the horn to provoke the driver to wake up and get moving! I’ve been on both ends of that situation, haven’t you? A beeping horn is a “motivational tool”, designed to irritate the offending driver to the point of action. In much the same way, the spurs on the boot of a cowboy are there not for decoration, but to provoke the horse to an irritated state wherein the horse will get moving. Want another analogy? Do you know why geese honk while in flight? They honk at the leader of the flock to keep it motivated and flying in the desired direction.

Take a look at the verse from Hebrews 10 referenced today. Notice the choice of words used. Let’s read it together word for word: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.” Breaking down this scriptural directive, we discover the following : “And let us” (that is the Church) consider (give careful attention to) how we may spur one another on (ways we can provoke each other so much that we become irritated enough to take action) toward love and good deeds. (to demonstrate the love of Christ in what we say and do).  We often think of provocation as being a negative thing, but rightly directed, it is for our benefit. I am reminded of the parable Jesus told of the man who goes to his neighbor’s house late at night banging at the door,waking the irritated neighbor up because he has a need that cannot wait. Though irritated, the neighbor gets up and gives him what he needs. Jesus says we should pray like that!

So what does that look like in the Church? Coming together for prayer is a way of provoking, or spurring one another on towards showing the love of Christ and doing good deeds for those around us. We need such encouragement in our lives. That’s one of the reasons it is so important for Christians to fellowship with one another. I like this quote by an unknown author:

“Prayer meetings were the arteries of the early church. Through them, life-sustaining power was derived.”

Life sustaining power is derived as we spur one another on in the same way  blood courses through our arteries to sustain our physical being. It is a team effort in which we are engaged. If that means getting some of the team so irritated that they finally get in the game, then all the better! We need total effort from everyone. Let us learn to spur one another on towards love and good deeds through purposeful, dedicated prayer. Beep that horn! Dig in those spurs! Let’s pray!

Holy Lord; I pray that I may join in the assignment given to me to be an encouragement and motivator to those around me, that love and good deeds may abound. Thank you, Lord, for your encouragement and your discipline that motivates me as well. These things I pray in Jesus’ blessed Name! Amen!

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