These verses seem to list the elements of community as things that happen simultaneously. Instead of them being a checklist of things we need to do in order to attain a successful gathering of community, I see the way so much health and growth comes when all of these elements are being practiced organically and consistently: spurring one another on, continuing to meet together, encouraging one another, all the while doing it with intentionality, not forgetting that all of our time on earth is limited. Have you experienced community that has all of those elements at work? If so, you know how it naturally fuels up the whole group to go deeper, both in faith and on mission together!
I’m always struck by the very end of verse 25, “— and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Not only does this apply as we continue to approach the day of Jesus’ return, but also as we go through seasons where the pressure is added on our limited time and resources. Even as we are pressed for extra time in our schedules during busy seasons, even while we are finding it hard to open up to other believers about what is really going on — all the more reason! Whatever is keeping us from engaging in community wholeheartedly in this season, I hope we can each jump in all the more!