Wow, what a great chapter! If you’re anything like me you probably highlighted a third of the verses for today! Because there was so much I really enjoyed about this chapter I wanted to share just a few thoughts for the verses I liked the best. I strongly encourage you to be an active reader for this chapter… sit down with a highlighter (or hop on your Bible App!) and highlight the verses you feel really speak to you today!
Vs. 4 and 10- I like these verses in combination because one sets up the other. Verse 4 is explaining yet again that the previous sacrifices could not atone for the sins of the Hebrews or for us for that matter. Verse 10 is just a great reminder that God sent his Son, and through Jesus’ sacrifice we have been made holy. The author is again and again trying to drill into the reader’s head that JESUS is the one who saves. It is JESUS who can atone for the sins of the world, and there is no more need for sacrifices.
Vs 14 and 18 – Again, I think these verses pair together wonderfully! Sometimes I think the author may be repeating himself one too many times, but then I remember the original purpose for the letter. These people were being told about a dramatic life style change, the author can’t reiterate enough the new deal! Jesus made one sacrifice, and because of it there was no more need for them to sacrifice animals anymore.
And from here on is where my highlighter went a bit crazy…
Vs. 22-23 – What powerful language! We have full assurance that our faith will cleanse us from a guilty conscience and wash us with pure water. We need to hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, because He is faithful! If you were looking for a faith booster today, this is it friends! We have a faithful God, and by having faith in Him we know that we can become pure. What a wonderful reminder of His love and power.
Vs 24-25 – Application verses for the day! As a body of Christ, we are called to spur one another on toward love and good deeds, to continue to have fellowship with one another, and to encourage one another as the Day of Jesus’ return draws closer. It’s almost as if this verse is calling you to attend an amazing COG event like Family Camp or FUEL…. So let’s put these verses in action a bit; How can you spur on a brother or sister towards love and good deeds today? Are you going to best encourage them through a kind note, through a coffee date, by helping them clear out their garage, doing a Bible study? There are so many ways we can show God’s love to our Christian family, pick one and try it out this week!
Vs. 26-27 and 31 – These verses are a little hard to swallow. Deliberately choosing to continue in a path of sin will lead to raging fire that consumes God’s enemies. I’m not going to sugar coat this at all. By making a conscious decision to live in sin after knowing truth, you are becoming an enemy of God and should fearfully expect judgement. Notice how it specifically mentions “after knowing truth”. Especially for those who grew up in the church like myself, we know truth and we have been taught what sin is. I fully recognize that this can make daily living more complicated, and according to this verse, more dangerous for our salvation. As verse 31 states, “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of a living God.” We should only live in fear of judgement day if we are consciously choosing sin in our life. I think it is ok to let that fear motivate you sometimes! If you’re struggling with decisions in your life, maybe you need a little fear to keep yourself in check!
Vs. 36-37 – After those previous verses this verse is a nice reminder as to why we choose righteous living. It is so that we can receive what has been promised! I think the author intentionally uses the word ‘persevere’ in this verse because they recognize that it is something we have to work at, and that doesn’t come naturally. If you read the few verses before this you see that the author is describing suffering, so the language of persevere makes sense here. Thankfully, we are not suffering in prison as was mentioned, but we certainly have daily sufferings that make it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But if you move on to read verse 37 you see that in just a little while, Jesus will return and he will not delay. We can handle our present sufferings because we know that someday soon Jesus will return and we will receive that promise!
And finally, Vs. 39 – We belong not to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. We have a heritage. We have a family and a foundation. It’s easy to feel alone at work, school, or maybe even in your own family. But through Jesus, we have a sense of belonging. And we are on the winning side!
I think each of these verses could’ve been pulled into a mini sermon today, but I tried to keep it short… I promise! I hope today some of my thoughts got you reflecting and thinking on God’s word. I also hope that you found some encouragement in the truth that we hold to, especially if you are in a season of persevering. I love being a part of this body of Christ, and I hope you feel our history and the fellowship we have! Life is so much easier when you have people to live it with that can encourage you in your walk of faith. Today, seek those people out! Or, be that person to a member who needs some encouragement!
Have a great day brothers and sisters!