Make a move
Last week’s focus was the awesomeness of Jesus Christ. He’s the ultimate one to keep our minds on when we are tempted to lose our footing. The focus on the first half of the book was to examine case by case how Jesus was better. Now we see a transition in the book with less explanation and more encouragement, almost like cheerleading, but it’s all still based on the work of Christ.
First look at the basis of the encouragement and then a list of many exhortations starting with a “let us” phrase. “We have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain.” (Hebrews10:19-20)
• “Let us draw near to God” (10:22)
We are able to approach God with a sincere heart because our conscience has been cleaned by the work of Christ.
• “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess” (10:23)
What Jesus has done on the cross is the fulfillment of all the promises and predictions in the Old Testament, but still the climax of it is in the future and we are still hoping for that fulfillment.
• “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (10:24)
• “Let us not give up meeting together” (10:25)
• “Let us encourage one another” (10:25)
These last 3 are all calls to live in community with one another in light of the work of Christ to make us one body. We must continually be in each other presence and encouraging others to “fix their eyes on Jesus.” Everyone will grow weary from time to time and when we do, we need other believers to stay near and call us again and again to the eternal perspective. It’s almost as if we are being reminded about the purpose of the book from the beginning, to encourage believers who are tempted to quit the race. That encouragement is Jesus. (Hebrews12:1)
Tips for Reading- (Application tip #2)
Note: This section is help for Bible Reading in general. It has been building throughout the year under the topics of Observation (what the Scripture says), Interpretation (what it means) and Application (what it means to your life). Feel free to look back over past weeks to get the whole picture.
What is the purpose of bible study? One man said he had read the bible twelve times. Is it the goal to read it a lot, or to let it read a lot of us? Application is probably the most overlooked part of bible study. Most people start and end in the interpretation section. It’s the coolest. You learn a lot of information and maybe look very wise. However, application is the place where life change can really happen. Without application, real life is missing and we only end up with facts. In the next few weeks I will throw out a few questions you can ask at the end of your study to segue toward life change. The first is this: Is there an example in the passage for me to follow?
A lot of the bible is biographical and it's for a reason so we can see real life stories and relate to them. For example, last week’s tip talked about Hebrews 4 and people who missed out on God’s rest. If you chose to read the Old Testament accounts, both in Exodus 17 and Psalm 95, the questions probably came flowing from your mind of ways we harden our hearts and
miss out on God’s best. Maybe this is a good place to start journaling your application questions and answers.
Notes from David’s Journal
The most famous chapter in our reading this week is Hebrews 11. It is called the "hall of fame of faith.” It lists many of the Old Testament saints who believed God's promises and walked in faith. We are asked to emulate their faith, especially those who waited to see the fulfillment of God's promises in Christ, never seeing them, yet still believing.
In fact, the only definition of faith in the entire Bible is in Hebrews 11:1. Study this one verse for quite some time. Notice that faith has nothing to do with seeing, with touching, with proving. It's believing when the evidence is not there, when sight is not present. It points especially to the fact that we cannot see or touch Jesus, yet we believe in His promises and eternal life waiting for those who simply believe.
Don't neglect verse 6 either. It is powerful. God loves faith. It is essential to Him. Specifically, this verse says that God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Think on these words. First, God wants to reward us - it's part of His nature. But this reward is reserved for those who are really, really seeking Him. Is this you? Do you hunger and thirst for God? If not, don't expect rewards from Him. But if you do, well, He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Keep seeking Him!