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Wednesday 21 August 2019 – Provoke One Another…

Hebrews 10:19  Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20  by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), 21  and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22  let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23  Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24  And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25  not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Being “provocative” carries many connotations. If a woman is “provocative”, it suggests that she is leading someone into thoughts and actions that are less than appropriate. If someone is accused of “provoking” a situation, it meant that person is stirring dissent or is the cause of difficulties.  So it is refreshing to hear the writer of Hebrews using this word in a positive way: the invitation is to “provoke one another to love and good deeds”.  This is about encouraging each other in living good lives. Instead of provoking anger, rage, dissent or unhappiness – provoke people into actions of love.

The question for today asks if we can – like those who first read the letter to the Hebrews – provoke each other to acts of  ‘love and good deeds’?

Ordinary 17

39 God, Our Source of Hope

The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 243.

This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.


“To comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” Finley Peter Dunne (1867–1936)