A few weeks ago I read an article that got me thinking about my days as a young Christian. In the 1970’s and 80’s my wife Pam and I realized that we needed some kind of spiritual oversight to become more mature in our faith. That led us to something called the “Shepherding Movement.” The members of our church were nearly all under the age of 25 and were not very experienced. The church divided into cell groups of six to twelve people and the small groups met weekly. The people who led the groups were in groups themselves, led by others. We later became aware of some failings in this movement but for us, almost all of our experience was good and to this day continue
s to bear fruit. It was after reading that article that I came across today’s brief passage.
“Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” Hebrews 12:15 (NLT)
I like this passage because it reminds us to look out for one another. John Wesley called it “watching over one another in love.” We are reminded to “look out” and we are reminded to “watch out.” The word translated as “look out” is the Greek word “episcopountes” and it means to watch over others, inspecting their lives for the purpose of helping them. And what are we to “watch out” for? That no one fails. The Greek word for fail is “hystereo.” This word not only means to fail, but also to be inferior, in want, or lacking. In want or lacking what? The grace of God. Then the author finishes the thought by telling us that we can help others avoid bitterness. In summary, the writer of Hebrews tells us to look out and to watch out so that others won't miss out. I like that, don’t you? So much of knowing and loving God is carefully watching out for others so that they can experience the fullness of life that God has for them.
Look out! Watch out! Love one another! Be the Good News for someone today.