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Alert Circles

Encourage one another and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

African gazelles instinctively form “alert circles” while resting on the savannah. They gather in groups with each animal facing outward in a slightly different direction. This enables them to scan the horizon a full 360 degrees and to communicate about approaching dangers or opportunities.

Instead of looking out only for themselves, the members of the group take care of one another. This is also God’s wisdom for followers of Jesus. The Bible encourages us, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together” (Hebrews 10:24–25).

Christians were never intended to go it alone, explains the writer of Hebrews. Together we are stronger. We’re able to “[encourage] one another” (v. 25), to “comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4), and to help each other stay alert to the efforts of our enemy the devil, who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

The goal of our care for each other is so much more than survival. It’s to make us like Jesus: loving and effective servants of God in this world—people who together look forward confidently to the hope of His coming kingdom. All of us need encouragement, and God will help us help each other as together we draw near to Him in love.

How do you receive strength and help from other believers? Who can you encourage with God’s love?

Thank You for Your faithfulness, loving God. Please help me to encourage others to look forward to You today!


The New Testament letter to the Hebrews was written to readers born and raised under the law of Moses. Their lives had been centered in the moral, civil, and ceremonial obligations of a temple-based culture. Now, however, they were in trouble for believing in Jesus in defiance of temple authorities and the teachers of their law. Some were discouraged. They needed to know that, while no one likes to suffer, they didn’t have to live in fear of dying (2:14–15). Jesus had suffered and tasted death for them (v. 9). He was greater than Moses and was the last sacrifice for sin they’d ever need (3:1–3; 9:24–48). He was a High Priest who wasn’t ashamed to call them brothers and sisters (2:10–13). In Jesus—their new temple—they had become the house of God (3:1–6). Remembering what Jesus had suffered and won for them, they could encourage one another.

To learn more about the letter to the Hebrews, visit christianuniversity.org/NT337.

Mart DeHaan

By |2019-11-11T12:08:28-05:00November 14th, 2019|
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