Posts Tagged ‘Hebrews’

The last few days I’ve been talking about the definition of a Christian, and the qualities we’d expect to find in a Christian.

When someone is a Christian they hold a firm belief in God’s existence, and that He has planned out their life for them before we were even born. A Christian doesn’t need to wish for things to happen, instead they pray, knowing that God will answer every prayer.

 

Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching. ~ Hebrews 10:24-25 (The Message)

Are you an encourager or do you inadvertently discourage those around you?

Yesterday in Worth Dying For, I once again spoke about how we all have disagreements with others. I then suggested we must all rise above any personal feeling or opinions, and simply love and care for one another.

When we love and care for others, we in turn encourage and support them too – Isn’t that what God needs us to do? So be that person who encourages those around you, because when we encourage one another when can achieve great things for God, together.

Hebrews 10:32-35 (NIV)
Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 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. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

We may not face daily persecution because of our Christian beliefs, however many do. Yes, like many of you I’ll have been called names, shouted but nothing like the level of persecution some in other countries have to endure because they believe in God.

Can you imagine still having the strength and courage to openly share your faith, even when others persecute you because of it. I’m not sure my faith would be strong is enough in that situation, is yours?

Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences. Christ’s death was also a one-time event, but it was a sacrifice that took care of sins forever. And so, when he next appears, the outcome for those eager to greet him is, precisely, salvation. ~ Hebrews 9:28 (The message)

Are you ready to greet Jesus when he next appears on earth?

Are you ready to receive salvation – deliverance from sin and its consequences? If you have faith in Christ, you are well prepared for Christ’s second coming.

I’m sure many of us have said at some point, “This is hopeless”, many when we’ve trying to do something for while but despite your best attempts you haven’t succeeded and you’re getting frustrated. Our use of the word “hopeless” in those types of situations isn’t really what I want us to think about today.

Sadly there are many people in the world for whom life itself seems hopeless – maybe because they  have no money, no food, limited clothing, no job, maybe they are seriously ill, suffered a bereavement, a broken relationship, maybe they are lonely…the possibilities are endless.

When someone else looks at the lives of someone who feels hopeless, the chances are they won’t see someone without hope, but instead they will see someone who’s maybe down on their luck just now, and simply needs a break.

Jesus sees hope in every situation, and in every life. So if you feel life is hopeless, remember Jesus, because He alone can bring hope to broken lives.

What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead. ~ Hebrews 11:1 (The Living Bible)

It can be hard to have faith in someone or something even when we can see them, so surely it’s harder to have faith in someone we cannot see, God? We maybe cannot see the person God, but we can see His creation, the results of His actions, the result of others having faith in Him, we read of others faith in Him in the bible…between all these things, that must be more than enough to encourage us have faith in God, isn’t it?

In Hebrews 4:15-16 (NIV)

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. 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.

According to the Bible we can boldly go before the throne of God through Jesus Christ and receive grace (pardon for our sins). We only need to have the will to confess our sins to God and the desire to receive His pardon, and God will forgive us.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9 NKJV)

 

 

Are you scared of death? Are you frightened of death?

There’s no need to be scared, as God has promised us eternal rest in His presence when we reach the of our time on earth.

Hebrews 4:8-11 (The Message)

And so this is still a live promise. It wasn’t canceled at the time of Joshua; otherwise, God wouldn’t keep renewing the appointment for “today.” The promise of “arrival” and “rest” is still there for God’s people. God himself is at rest. And at the end of the journey we’ll surely rest with God. So let’s keep at it and eventually arrive at the place of rest, not drop out through some sort of disobedience.

While these words should reassure us, I’m sure it’s still only human nature to fear death and how we might feel during our final moments. That however should never stop us from believing that when our earthly body has died, we will find rest in God’s presence.

Revelations 14:13 (New Living Translation)

And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them!”

What about those who have never found God before they pass away?

As I touched on in my blog post yesterday entitled Non Believer, I truly believe that it’s never too late in someone’s life for them to be saved, regardless of their health or state of mind. God does work in mysterious ways at times, so no matter how unlikely we think it is that a loved one may be saved before their death, do not ever stop believing or praying as God does can still make a difference.

Look forward to heaven, it’s a place where eyes won’t cry and hearts won’t get broken…

Hebrews 6:11 (New Living Translation)
Our great desire is that you will keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, in order that to make certain that what you hope for will come true.

How do we keep on loving others as long as life lasts? It’s a daunting task and one which seems impossible to achieve when we are caught up with our own corners and problems. It’s difficult to find the emotional energy to “keep right on loving” at these times. It’s equally as hard when some of those we love don’t reciprocate or are unlovable.

Hebrews 6:10 (New Living Translation)
For God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown you love to him by caring other Christians, as you still do.

In the above verse from Hebrews, we find encouragement to keep on loving, when we’re informed that God does recognise how hard we have worked to try and love everyone, even if we haven’t succeeded.

But this still doesn’t make it any easier to love as long as life lasts. So how do we achieve this? We do so by faith and patience, in the knowledge that this is the best way to show God how much we love Him – God likes when we tell Him we love Him, but likes it even more when we show Him by loving other Christians.

Whenever we call a friend in trouble and take time to listen to their struggles, or we look after a child to give their single parent a break, or when we pay a bill for someone whose struggling to make ends meet, or when we invite people to our house to eat knowing their struggling to be able to afford a decent meal for the whole family, or when we visit those in hospital who have no family to care about them, we show God how much we love Him!

We can sometimes find that other Christians are the hardest people to love but God can love them through us so don’t give up trying to love them. The day we stop caring, loving and doing things for our brothers and sisters in Christ is the day we “become spiritually dull and indifferent” (Hebrews 6:12).

What do you do for other Christians? It’s not enough just to pray for them and say we love them. God sees our heart and watches our life. He knows what we’re doing and when he sees us love and care for His people, He will not forget to reward us!

As long as life lasts, keep on loving!