"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25

When Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane to pray before going to the cross, he didn't go alone. He took his disciples with him, but they didn't sense the importance of the moment. They fell asleep! "Why are you sleeping?" Jesus asks. "Get up and pray so you will not fall into temptation." He says the same thing to all of us when we are tempted to "sleep in" instead of going to church and praying with our fellow believers. "I wouldn't miss church by sleeping in," we say. Lest we become too sure of ourselves, what about when we let our minds wander in church and completely miss the message our Savior brings? It's not any different than sleeping disciples, right?

Peter especially should have stayed alert because Jesus had warned him he would deny him three times before the cock crowed. “How could Peter deny Jesus?” we wonder. Yet when someone curses or begins telling a filthy joke do we let them know they have offended our Savior with the cursing? Do we tell them we are not interested in the joke? Or do we just act as if it does not matter? We are denying Jesus if we don't speak up in love to those who offend him and us. There are many ways of denying that we are a follower of Jesus.

Judgment Day is approaching. All the signs are there. "Let us encourage one another all the more as you see the Day approaching," we are told. Jesus' friends, the disciples, failed him. They slept instead of supporting him in his sorrow - Are we encouraging one another?

Dear Jesus, we are sorry we have denied you with our silence. We failed to encourage others with the Gospel when opportunities came. Forgive us, dear Savior, as you forgave your disciples. Strengthen our faith so we too will always be among the worshippers and encouragers in your Kingdom here on earth. Thank you for your love and forgiveness. We pray in your name. Amen