by Philip Layton
The Jewish readers are warned against unbelief
- The whole chapter seems to be a warning against unbelief. Why do you think the author had become so concerned about this?
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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
The writer to the Hebrews wanted to prevent people falling into unbelief or spiritual apathy. They were fence-sitting – unsure of fully committing to Christ; unsure if it was worth giving up their selfish wants and desires to follow him.
It can happen to any of us. Compromise, uncertainty, non-commitment.
The writer sees the danger signs and proceeds to give ways to get off the fence; ways to be certain of our ‘heavenly calling’ – allowing us to fix our eyes on Jesus alone:
Listen to the Holy Spirit (v 7). Jesus sent his Spirit to help, guide, instruct, be with us. When we call on him, it gets us off any fence that might get in the way of our walk with the Lord.
Resist hardening our hearts (v 8). Apathy, laziness, cynicism, criticism can creep into our lives if we are not careful. The Spirit longs to keep our hearts soft and receptive to his leading.
Encourage one another (v 13). Giving encouragement helps get people from fence-sitting to God-focusing. Encouragement gives hope, helping others be in tune with the Almighty.
British poet and preacher, John Donne, once said that ‘no man is an island, entire of itself; that every man [and woman] is a piece of the continent’.
We are all connected in some way. We all need one another. But above all, we need the Lord.
When a London newspaper put the question ‘Which is the shortest route from Dover to London?’ to its readership, offering a cash reward, the answer that won the prize was ‘Good company!’ Getting off the fence and committing fully to God is to be in the best company, ever!
God had wonderful plans for the Hebrew people, just as he has great plans for us; but he can only reveal them to us when we are fully devoted to him. Are we open to receiving all he has in store for us today and tomorrow?
Beverly IvanyTags: Hebrews