Friday, March 7, 2008

Let Us Hold Fast to Our Hope

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." - Hebrews 10:23-25

In the daily grind of life, it is easy to lose sight of our ultimate purpose: to glorify God. Whether it be the comments of those who do not know the Lord or the hypocrisy of those in the church, it is sometimes tempting to just give up. Yet the writer of Hebrews points us in a different direction. He begins (in the verses listed above) by reminding us to "hold fast the confession of our hope, without wavering..." But how do we do this? The world around us mocks us and criticizes us for this very hope. We must look to Christ for grace, "for he who promised is faithful."

"Okay, okay," you might be thinking. "That sounds good in theory but how do I apply it in the real world? Well, these verses instruct us. "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works." When was the last time you encouraged other Christians around you to love and do good works? When that annoying person cuts us off in traffic, do you curse them or pray for them in love? When you waste too much time surfing the internet (as I struggle with), what "good works" could you be doing for those in your sphere of influence? Please don't misunderstand me. Good works do not save a person - only faith and trust in Christ can do that. However, love and good works should be the natural outflow of a life centered on Christ.

And the verses continue: "not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another..." There are times in our lives where for health concerns or for other reasons, we are not able to get together as a body (especially speaking of the church). Yet sometimes, Christians reason that they don't need to go to church to be a Christian. While they are technically correct, the reasoning is faulty. Again, church attendance does not save a person - only faith and trust in Christ does. But the writer of Hebrews reminds us that we should not neglect to meet together. Christians typically grow in their faith as a result of relationships, hardships, and encouragements that come with gathering together as a body. God specifically and graciously uses these means for sanctification in our lives.

How often should we do the things listed above? According to these verses, "all the more as you see the Day drawing near." God has chosen not to reveal the timing of Christ's final return. But one thing if for sure: with each passing day, we are yet another day closer to that Day.

So let us hold fast to our hope! Let us stir one another up in love and good works! Let us not neglect to assemble ourselves together! Let us encourage one another as that Day draws near!

Glory to God,
Terra

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