But encourage one another day after day, as long as it still called, “Today,” lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:13
Be Hardened – Christians live with a constant threat. Sin can do immense damage at any point. There is no vacation from the possibility of attack as long as it is “today.” If you thought you would come to a place of relaxed safety where you could let your guard down, you were mistaken. You can rest after you’re dead.
Does that sound too bleak? It is certainly a long way from the popular “Your Best Life Now,” theology that promises success, status and ease. The author of Hebrews has a different perspective. We are in a war. The only way out is dying. Every day we live, the war comes to us in one form or another. But – there is great encouragement. First, victory is assured. Second, the first soldier in the fight has already overcome the enemy and He will never abandon us. And third, we have each other. So, two words make up our battle cry: rejoice and encourage.
Nevertheless, we are cautioned to be on guard for the enemy within. The Greek here is very descriptive. It is skleruno, from the noun skleros. It means, “to harden, to dry up, to make stiff.” You can think of the dry bones of a skeleton. No life. Withered away. Hard. All the vitality has been removed and there is nothing left but the bones. That is the objective of sin – to make you into a walking skeleton, brittle, hideous and lifeless.
Did you notice that this verse is written to believers? The possibility of a hardened heart existence is real for believers. All it takes is the deceitfulness of sin making its way into the life of the follower. To combat this possibility, we are commanded to encourage one another today! Sin does not gain a foothold tomorrow. Sin finds a way in today. If we want to resist its seductive ploys, we will need the support and assistance of others right now, while the battle rages. Do you know someone who is struggling against the skeleton? They need encouragement now!
What kind of encouragement is required? How about the basics? God loves you, no matter how far into the ditch you seem to have fallen. God is in control, no matter how chaotic your life appears to be. God can guide you, no matter how lonely you feel. God wants only your best, no matter how discouraging your future appears. And I am here to help you, because God loves me too.