October 11, 2018
Hebrews 3:7-14 New Living Translation (NLT)
I continue to pray for my sisters and brothers in the panhandle of Florida and the southern states that are suffering from the arrival of Hurricane Michael. May God use even this storm to bring attention to the condition of people’s hearts and may the Spirit help them turn to receive the love and provision of God.
The writer of Hebrews seeks to gain the attention of all believers in Christ and exhort them in their faith. The letter (which reads more like a sermon) encourages believers to press on to follow Christ into a place of rest (peace with God and their inheritance in Christ). No matter what we are going through, we must not harden our hearts and set ourselves against God, because that hardness leads to separation from the One who can save us. Faith is what enables Christians to face trials; it is our confident trust in God’s love for us. Genuine faith includes the commitment to stay true to God when we are under pressure. Our commitment causes our character to grow, as well as our faith to mature in endurance. Whatever you are facing, today, reach for God and enter his rest.
7 That is why the Holy Spirit says,
“Today when you hear his voice,
don’t harden your hearts
as Israel did when they rebelled,
when they tested me in the wilderness.
There your ancestors tested and tried my patience,
even though they saw my miracles for forty years.
So I was angry with them, and I said,
‘Their hearts always turn away from me.
They refuse to do what I tell them.’
So in my anger I took an oath:
‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”
12 Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. 13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. 14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for making spiritual rest available to me; I turn to you. May I continue to place my trust in you as you guide my life along your path. In Jesus’ name. Amen.