Do not provoke but encourage

 

Although we have moved beyond Father’s Day, once again, the focus of the Verse of the Day for June 18, 2018 remains on fathers.

Ephesians 6:4 (NLT):

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

Colossians 3:21 (NLT) provides a similar exhortation:

Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.

Not only are fathers not to provoke their children, but all believers in general are not to provoke God, their Father, by means of unrighteous behavior and unbelief, as the Children of Israel did in the Old Testament. Hebrews 3:16 (AMP points out what occurred:

For who were they who heard and yet provoked Him [with rebellious acts]? Was it not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses?

Psalm 98: 7-9 (NKJV) remind believers that they should

For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.

Today, if you will hear His voice:
“Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,

When your fathers tested Me;
They tried Me, though they saw My work.

As Christian believers today, we must also learn from the provocative behavior of the Children of Israel in the Wilderness whereby they did not enter into rest that God desired for them because of their unbelief.

Rather than becoming fathers who provoke our children to wrath or to respond in anger, Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT) offers this reminder:

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

This verse applies, not only to fathers, but to all believers. We are not to provoke one another, but we are to motivate one another and by all means “encourage one another” with the words we say and by the works  we do. This poem reinforces the message:

Motivate one another

Let us think of ways to motivate one another

to acts of love and good works.

Hebrews 10:24 (NLT)

 

In these trying times, we must adapt to this new season
And transition into the Kingdom God will release,
As we trust in the Lord always and learn to hold our peace.
God, our gracious, all-wise Father, reveals every reason
That we should follow if we are to enjoy good success.
God calls us and then gives us authority and power
To walk by faith and fulfill our mission during this hour
And connect with those of like spirit who desire to bless.
We watch, endure hardship, and do what we are called to do.
As we abide in His Word and live sacrificially,
We are strategic to make full proof of our ministry
And acknowledge that God is ever faithful and His Word is true.
We must walk in the light, not in the place where pride lurks
But motivate one another to love and good works.

Listen to a song of celebration based on Hebrews 10:19-25: “Come Together.”

 

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