PROVOKED TO GOOD WORKS
In the Bible, we have been given many instructions and encouragements on how to live godly in Christ Jesus. One of them makes today's topic. Let's see how the right influence from others is extremely important to our motivation for good works and faith actions.
Reference: Hebrew 10:24 World English Bible (WEB) 'Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good works.'
To 'provoke' here means 'to motivate' one another. When you are motivated by another, you're stirred up to do good works as a result of hearing or seeing them do it.
The Bible says, 'we are created for good works', as God's workmanship (Ephesians 2:10 ESV). To be positioned for Kingdom good works, first, we must consider how to stimulate one another to love in the right manner and go in the direction of producing good deeds that God has prepared for us to do. So we're ordained beforehand to practice good works and walk in them.
Let me start with testimony sharing. Testimonies are important in fellowship meetings. When brethren testify of God's goodness, they inspire others to position themselves for more of God's goodness. This is because, when they hear shared testimony, they're provoked to act on the Word for themselves, trust God in the process, and get similar results. That means, testimony sharing provokes the listeners to good work.
You can also be provoked to good work by winning souls because you're in contact with someone or group of people who wins souls. You can as well preach the gospel in certain places where darkness prevails, because you're provoked to save them from eternal damnation. That's being provoked to good works.
You may be found in the company of people doing the wrong things or going the wrong way and you are provoked to get them in the right direction. Act 17:16-17 (ESV) reads, 'Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.'
Many a time, people are provoked to give more to the work of God, to strive for excellence in their endeavours, to arrive early at work place, and to attain greater heights, because they have been in the company of those who do them, and so they're challenged by their actions to succeed in meeting up with the same results.
Paul once said, 'I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you' (1 Corinthians 14:18 ESV). The aim of his utterance was to provoke and motivate them to step up their desire to 'pray in tongues' and advance to meet up with the challenge (as by increased effort or improved performance). Remember he mentioned it earlier in verse 5 of the same chapter, that he wished that all of them could speak in tongues.
Once you are provoked to good works, you must rise up and take the corresponding action because mere provocation doesn't automatically guarantee that you'll take the required action which will give rise to the right result. It is the same as when you hear the Word of God. You must act on the Word, otherwise you will only be edified and strengthened without having any better results.
Scripture Reading - Romans 2:5-11;Hebrews 13:16; Titus 2:7,14; James 1:22; Titus 3:8,14; 1 John 2:17.
Guided Prayer: Precious Father, the meditation and affirmation of your Word strengthen me for good works. As the Word shapes me in Christ's image, I walk in the right path your Spirit guides me on and my actions reflect your perfect will for me. My life is a daily expression of your purpose and I provoke others for good works, in Jesus' Name, Amen!