Sunday, July 12
Scripture: Isaiah 15-18, Hebrews 10
Hebrews 10:21–25 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.
The author of Hebrews writes to people who are in danger of drifting away from their faith in Jesus. The whole letter aims to call them back and give them good reasons for staying connected to Jesus. In these verses, the author gives them four things to do to stay connected to Jesus—all of them in the subjunctive mood (expressing what may be rather than what is)—usually translated with “let us.” (It’s my wife’s favorite food: lettuce!)
Each of these four is worth remembering and doing now when our regular rhythms have been disrupted and we may be in danger of drifting.
Let us go right into the presence of God. Pray boldly. Jesus has opened the way to God and given us free access to the Father. We can approach God without an intermediary, without fear and with a clean conscience. Go right in! This was new in world religions. Every other religion, including the Jewish, required sacrifices and intermediaries to approach God. Jesus was the final sacrifice and is our only intermediary, and He has invited us in and given us free access. How to stay connected to Jesus? Pray boldly. Go right in!
Let us hold tightly to the hope we affirm. Hold tight. Don’t waver. Why? Because God can be trusted to keep His promise. When I take my grandchildren on a motorcycle ride, I say, “Hold on tight!” They do! The author writes to these struggling Christians and says the same thing. Hold on tight! God can be trusted. Don’t waver. How to stay connected to Jesus? It can be as simple as holding tight. Hang on!
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to love and good works. Motivate others. The author encourages them to think beyond themselves, to think of others who may be struggling and need some encouragement and motivation. Particularly, we are to motivate one another to love and good works—two things that express our faith—knowing that faith expressed is faith that grows. How to stay connected to Jesus? Get beyond yourself and think of others who may need to be encouraged—then go and encourage them.
Let us not neglect our meeting together, but encourage one another. Get together with someone for encouragement and spiritual growth. Don’t try to do this alone. We say all the time that Christianity is a team sport—you can’t play alone. We need each other—especially now when our meetings are limited. We are encouraging everyone to connect with someone weekly for spiritual growth and encouragement. That may be in person or on Zoom. That may be in pairs, in triads, in small groups. But don’t languish alone. Make a weekly appointment. How to stay connected to Jesus? Get together with someone for encouragement and spiritual growth.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for these practical reminders on how to grow our faith and stay connected with You.