Persevere in Faith (part 1)

19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the Law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”

38 And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”

39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. 

Hebrews 10:19-39

Well – that was a long passage! But what a powerful passage.  Let’s see what we can find in here today!

Let start by reminding ourselves that this is in a letter written to the early Hebrew church – this means Jews who had converted to Christianity.  Essentially these people believed in God and then took a huge leap of faith and believed in Jesus as well.  Already being religious and under the Law of Moses, these were pretty much good people to begin with – and already growing in their faith in Christ.

However it would seem there was some people who had not committed to going deeper and some who had started falling backwards as a result of their comfort with not growing further. Not to mention the persecution of this early church.

“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” 

It is good to read this again and again. We start this passage off with a reminder that we, through grace and the work of the cross, can now go to God directly and not through a priest at the temple.  These people would fully appreciate this, while you and I can only imagine. Back in that time a Jew would have to stand in line at the temple for days or weeks even, until it was finally their turn – and then you sent your message to God by briefly speaking with a priest and hoping he got you message to God correct.  Can you imagine not being able to pray when you have an issue? Feeling like God did not want to see you, only the priest?

Now we can draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings! And knowing we are clean – cleansed from our sins! We are forgiven!!! God wants to talk with us directly!

23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”
Unswervingly.  Just hold firm – staying the course – this is that solid goodness of God.
HE WHO PROMISES IS FAITHFUL!!! AMEN!!!  Why do I say “where is the verse?” Because I find God’s promises and I pray them over my life and into my prayer requests. Once I have a promise to pray for, I have the confidence that God is faithful to send the answer – and His answer will be “Yes, child, I shall do this for you!”  God is faithful. Don’t doubt it – it is written!!!
Say it out loud! Let the spirit world hear you: God is faithful!!! He who has promised is faithful.
Maybe you should say it louder, I couldn’t hear you!

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Encourage one another in the Lord.  During this pandemic – in such a time as this – I am well aware of people whose hearts are failing them from fear. I am well aware of those who are losing hope.  I see you!  I know you struggle.  If not because of the pandemic, then maybe there is another struggle in your life and it isn’t any smaller to you that those who struggle with the issues brought on by this pandemic. 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV
What an encouraging verse!  Even in our struggles and troubles we should encourage each other – have you help someone be uplifted at least once this week??

And forsake not the assembling of yourselves together – This means don’t forget to go to church. It’s amazing that we can still find a church service on Sunday during this – Facebook has so many churches live streaming services all the time (if your church doesn’t).
The reason we should go to church is two-fold. First, because we get fed the word at church and we need to keep getting fed (above and beyond our own bible studies and prayer time). The second is to encourage one another.  During this time of social distancing we need to make an effort to reach out to our church family and encourage them in the Lord. We are told to do this in this verse. “And all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Well folks, if they said that almost 2000 years ago how much more is it relevant today?!?!  

Jesus is returning for the children of God and will meet us in the sky – soon!  The Bible said it was soon, back then and therefore it is all the more soon today!! No need to be a prophet to figure that out!  My name is written in the Lambs Book of Life! I am going up!

Say it! Say it loud – so loud the devil himself can hear you! You are a child of God and a force to be reckoned with because the boldness of the Holy Spirit is in you and the power of the blood of Jesus has covered you and through the power of the name of Jesus – all because a great and Mighty God looked down on our planet, saw a need for you, created you, put you here for His plan – and LOVES YOU!

So say it!!  My name is written in the Lambs Book of Life! I am going up! I will persevere in faith! He who promised is faithful!!  Jesus has overcome the world!!!! God loves me and Jesus loves me!!!!!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~