Wednesday, December 11

Two encouraging words

Scripture: Philemon, Hebrews 1-4

Hebrews 4:14–16 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Observation/application

In these verses, the author of Hebrews gives us two important things to do because Jesus is our great high priest.

First, “let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.”  This is the theme of the book of Hebrews.  It was written to Jewish Christians who were in danger of apostasy, of abandoning their faith in Jesus.  So the author says this repeatedly: hold fast, hold firm, stay true, don’t give up.  When you face hardship, weakness or temptation, and feel like quitting, “hold firm” because Jesus has gone before us and faced everything we are facing.  He understands and can help us!  So hold firm to your faith.  Stand strong!

Second, “let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence” to receive mercy and grace to help us.  Rather than giving up on God, let’s move toward Him!  Let’s draw near to God with confidence that He understands, and that He will give us mercy and grace to help us!  So often, we pull away rather than draw near.  That’s moving the wrong direction!  James said, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”  Always, always, always…keep moving toward God, not away from Him.  He is there to help!

Prayer: Thank you for these encouraging words.  Remind us in our trouble to hold firmly to our faith and draw near to God!