January 5, 2017
Photo taken by our friend Mike Book
(Click on photo to enlarge)
Listen to this message on your audio player.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised” (Hebrews 10:35,36). I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown” (Revelation 3:11).
For many years I have had the family assignment of gathering the trash from the small individual trash baskets throughout our home, pouring them into a large bag and taking the bag out to the road for pick-up. It’s also my assignment to see that we don’t throw away something accidentally. I suppose we’ve all thrown away something we later regret. Ester, at a much younger age, threw out an item she thought no longer worked but in reality it wasn’t broken. It actually needed new batteries! A woman, from one of our former congregations, accidentally threw into the trash two large bags of her best clothing, intended for the dry cleaners. When she realized her mistake she went to recover them only to find the trash had already been picked up.
Mistakenly throwing out material goods is one thing, but we want to be absolutely diligent about holding onto key spiritual truths. The first part of today’s text is a forthright command, “So do not throw away your confidence.” I want this truth to be lodged deeply into my heart. When teaching from the book of Hebrews I have taught that this single verse summarizes the book’s purpose in encouraging the initial recipients to remain faithful in the midst of the scorn and persecution they were enduring. That’s a vital word for each generation.
This verse is a great truth for all readers to memorize. We all deal with different temptations and issues in life as we seek to stay faithful to Christ. The believers addressed in Hebrews were facing persecution and were tempted to go back to their old way of life. Perhaps part of the temptation was that in doing so their persecutions might ease. There are many believers today living under similar circumstances such as the Christian remnant in most Muslim dominated countries.
But going back to our old way of life remains a temptation to varying degrees for all believers, although for different reasons. For many readers it may be the busyness of life, affluence, the persistent barrage of godless, secular teaching and other issues we confront daily that lull us into complacency or pull us back into the world.
One that I have noticed is the heavy load that people bear as they overcome the consequences of many years of disobedience to God. It may have been tobacco, drug/alcohol abuse, sexual immorality or indebtedness due to wasteful spending. Turning to Christ does not immediately negate the long-term consequences of these past sins. Though some receive miraculous deliverance, there are those who will endure weaknesses and temptations that require diligent prayer and overcoming.
The enemy of our soul may persistently murmur, “What’s the use?” and tempt us to just throw away our confidence and simply give up. Sadly, we know some who have done just that. A major theme throughout Hebrews is, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess.” The word translated “hold unswervingly” is in the present active and conveys the ongoing need to actively participate in this “holding on” to our faith. Some translations used the word, “firmly”.
Today, this new year and for the remainder of our lives on this earth, let us all resolve to hold unswervingly to the hope we profess through Christ Jesus our Lord!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
“Hold On” Video The McKameys
“In Christ Alone” Video Mixed Quartet
Doris High explained that yesterday’s lead bird photo was actually a premade suet feeder with holes drilled for the suet pieces.
The photo of Stephen riding a “Zamboni” we posted yesterday was actually a factory floor cleaner!
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