Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I looked up the word outbreak in the dictionary. It said that it was “a sudden or violent increase in activity”. And it reminded me of a verse in Hebrews 10:24, “Let us think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.” (NLV)

I wonder what it would look like if we as Christians put this verse into practice. I wonder how I would be if I continuously looked for ways to encourage my sisters and brothers in Christ to love and good works. I wonder how different our churches would be. What would happen if we had an “outbreak” of love and good deeds?

What do you think of when you hear the word “outbreak”? I think of something incredibly contagious and difficult to contain.

In the verse right above, it gives us the reason for why we should encourage one another to love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted.” (NLV) What does it mean to live with an unwavering hope?

In the movie Jacob the Liar (played by Robin Williams), hope plays an important role. The setting is a Jewish Ghetto in Poland during World War II. The Jews have lost all hope of ever being saved and many of them have resorted to killing themselves. Through some crazy circumstances one Jew, Jacob, ends up outside the ghetto and hears a radio broadcast. When he returns he shares what he has learned about the allies with some of his friends and the news travels like wild fire through the quarter. After hearing the news, Jacob begins to see a visible change in people because of a renewed sense of hope and so embarks on a plan to keep hope alive in the ghetto . . .

When I saw this movie, I was struck by the power of hope. Most of us in America have no idea what it is like to live without hope and so it’s easy for us to take for granted the hope we have in Christ.

We forget that we are living in similar circumstances in our spiritual lives as Jacob was. People all around us are living and dying with no hope! We have the hope that will not only give them purpose in this life but will save them for all of eternity!

I wonder what would happen if we had an outbreak of love and good deeds. Would people see the hope we have in Christ? Would they be “infected” with our love for God and good deeds for others? What if we couldn’t contain this pandemic?

Remember, it just takes one!

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