April 4, 2022
Written by: Jennifer Auer, Pastor Mary Haley’s Assistant
Last week I found myself inside of a courtroom. I had been called for jury duty, and I was selected to sit as a juror. Moments before the jury went back to deliberate on a verdict, and about 11 hours of being at the courthouse, I learned that I was the alternate juror, and I was released from my civil duty.
Friends, I was reminded that day that we have such a grave responsibility to represent Christ within this fallen world: in all places, at all times, and to all people. It is through us, that others either return or come to know the love of Christ. But we must remember, at the same time, the enemy who rules this world is doing everything in his power to pull each one of us away from Jesus and to keep people from knowing about the power of His full forgiveness and transformation of lives.
We MUST remember that because of Jesus, you and I have direct access to God, Himself. In the old covenant, access to God had layers of regulations. But, in the new covenant, and “because of the blood of Jesus” (v.19) we can approach God ourselves. As Christians all of our sins have been, are being, and will be forgiven by the blood of Jesus, as long as we hold tightly without wavering to our faith and trust in Him, and Him alone.
Friends, the last two verses of today’s passage are critical as we move forward: 1. God calls us to encourage one another. God’s plan for each of our lives includes other Christians speaking His Word, the Truth, into and over our lives and praying for us. 2. God’s purpose within this encouragement is for us to stir up love and good works within one another. Jesus reminds us that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). 3. Finally, we must gather to do this encouraging and this stirring up to love and to do good works. This is not just gathering on Sundays, or gathering for Bible study, although both are so wonderfully needed, this is about getting together in small groups to minister to one another. You will notice that we must gather “especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.” (v.25)
Hebrews 10:19-25 NLT
A Call to Persevere
19 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. 21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Prayer: Jesus, I cannot thank You enough for giving me the most precious gift of salvation. Please help me, Lord, to keep holding my faith firmly and to never ever let it go. I want to be more and more of an encouragement to my brothers and sisters of the faith, and I want to bring more and more of Your love out and into a needy world. I pray all of this in Your Name, Jesus. Amen.