I must be in a breakfast mode lately! Yesterday the scriptures reminded me of jelly donuts and today as I read from Hebrews 10:24, I was reminded of a steaming hot cup of coffee! The Moffatt translation says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…” I am not sure why, but the phrase “stir up” instantly made me think about the effects of caffeine in coffee.
Previous to this I had read from I Corinthians 14:1 where Paul, after his picturesque description of Godly love in action, begins the next chapter by encouraging his readers to “Follow, then, the way of love…” (Phillips) When you put those two verses together you begin to see that the “way of love” includes the responsibility of stirring up others to do the same… kind of like what caffeine is to a cup of coffee!
I have often thought about how coffee drinking and the whole coffee scene has become a major part of life for today’s younger generation. As a kid I have vivid memories of the aluminum percolator sitting on the kitchen stove with its steaming liquid bubbling away in the little glass window on top of its lid. And while I always enjoyed the fragrance of the brewing coffee as its aroma filled the kitchen, I didn’t acquire a taste for it until my early adult years! At that time the coffee – usually a simple red can of Folgers or blue labeled Maxwell house - was simply a beverage adults drank at breakfast and like my folks, after dinner as they read the evening paper!
Now though, it has become a national pastime, a way of life, and with all the unique and custom blends you can order, it is almost like a statement of who you are! But from what I have seen, many if not most people seem to drink it for the caffeine jolt it gives them rather than just for the taste! The caffeine stirs them up to help them make it through the day.
Paul tells us that we should do the same as we consider those around us. As Christians we should be the caffeine in their lives, stirring them up, motivating them, encouraging them, or exciting them to love and good works! Webster tells that this stirring up or “provoking” as translated in the King James means “that which incites the mind and moves to action,” just like the caffeine in a cup or two of coffee can incite a lethargic body into more productive action! (Although in all my years in ministry leadership and secular management, I am not too sure how productive a caffeine charged individual always was!)
This morning as I awakened my wife, I began to sing a little ditty that I was making up as I went along. I sang about how Jesus loved her today and added that I loved her today as well. Then I thought with a chuckle and quickly added “♫ and have every day for 44 years!” That last line made me pause and consider my study a few moments before this and I wondered how it is even possible to love – and increase in it – every day for 44 years. And then it dawned on me… because over the years I have continually stirred it up!
I can honestly say that except for the few times that I was away from her due to business or church trips, I have told my wife numerous times each and every day that I love her. But it is not just the words. It is the regular actions that prove this love. It is the little things like the smiles, the holding of hands, the always putting her welfare before that of others, the little notes I would leave in funny places all around the house (ie; under her pillow, folded in with her clothes in her dresser, in the refrigerator, in her shoes, etc…) and the regular words of encouragement.
I taught my two girls when they became teenagers to always wait in the car, when out on a date, for him to come around and open the door for them, explaining that this little action of love was a sign of how he would treat them later in their relationship. Our younger daughter once text me after one of her early dates with her eventual husband and told of how he quickly came around and opened her door before she even had time to think about it. She said, “Dad, I think he’s a keeper!”
Like I have said, LOVE IS AN ACTION WORD… and part of that action entails stirring it up by your words and more importantly, by your selfless acts toward others! So my encouragement to you today is to just to go out and do it! Be the caffeine in someone else’s life today. Stir them up to love and good works! Have a stirring day, stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting (to stir up) today?