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. …23 LET US hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.
Today, we see the second of three great encouragements from Hebrews 10:19-25. We discussed the first one on Monday, Therefore, since…let us. It was a due Word in season for me as the tragedy on Sunday in Sutherland, Texas caused my heart to ache.
When I am not well physically, I like to eat Cream of Wheat and my little saying is, “Cream of Wheat” makes everything better. 🙂 BUT the truth is that drawing near to God through His Word and Spirit makes everything better. On Sunday evening, I really needed to just draw near and God was faithful and in His mercy met my need.
Today’s “Therefore, since…let us” is God’s encouragement once again. “LET US hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” Don’t move, don’t bend, don’t cast away your confidence in God for He who promised is faithful! Ours is a sure and certain hope. A hope rooted in the completed work of Jesus. A hope that does not disappoint.
Yes, the enemy comes to steal, kill, destroy, and devour BUT the words God spoke to Jeremiah is just as true today as it was then. “The word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Jeremiah, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see an almond branch.’ Then the LORD said to me, ‘You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it’” (v. 11–12). Our God is the Sovereign God and His plans and purposes will take place.
My heart breaks for the people of Sutherland, Texas. The sorrow and pain has to be tremendous, more than I could ever imagine. But I do know God is with these families and community to provide their every need according to His riches in Christ Jesus. For those who knew Jesus as Lord and Savior, their hope has been realized. God was watching over His Word (Romans 8:35-39):
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God has promised that His grace is sufficient for our every need and I believe He will prove Himself strong on the behalf of all who will trust Him. “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD (Psalm 31:24).” Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).
The question has been asked, if you were in the church on Sunday would you have been ready to meet the Lord. All the praise, honor, and glory belongs Jesus who is the The Truth, The Way and The Life for all who have repented of their sin and accepted His completed work at the cross would be ready. This is absolutely amazing because as Ephesians 2 helps us to understand that we have been forgiven much.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:1-9
In the view of the tragedy, evil, and loss that our country keeps experiencing, my heart breaks for those who do not know Jesus in the pardon of their sins. As love waxes cold and evil and wickedness manifests itself, every man must be ready to depart this earth at any moment. The question is would you and I be ready?
It seems the enemy’s blinders are on so very tight, “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn–and I would heal them (2 Corinthians 4:4).” Proverbs 3:7 warns us, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.” Instead of turning away there seems to be an embracing of evil. There are those who get up every day to transgress and rebel against the only One who has the answer to the emptiness of a heart that has not been redeemed. They mock God even as they ask where was God and state that prayer did not work. Certainly, these thoughts are not new as they go back to Genesis, ‘did God really say and if He did, what kind of God is that… it seems as if we are facing it constantly in today’s world as man shakes his fist at the Holy and Righteous God. Jeremiah 5:3 was included in our Bible Study tonight and it certainly seems an accurate description of today’s world: “O Lord, do not Your eyes look for truth? You have punished them, but they were not sorry. You have destroyed them, but they would not change They have made their faces harder than rock. They would not be sorry for their sins and turn from them.”
I cry out, “Mercy, Lord.” My heart aches because I know hell is real, that separation from God is not pretty. I know because I was included in the Ephesians number. There is not a man alive who was not or is not. BUT GOD…“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
My heart aches at the complacency of the body of Christ who has folded their arms like Jonah and said I’m going to sit right here and see what the Lord does…my heart aches for those who have come to know “the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” and are so caught up in politics of this world that they fail to display the love, compassion, grace and mercy of their Savior and King. Those who would rather walk in self pride than to “Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh (Jude 22-23).”
My heart aches for a people who were once “dead in our trespasses” but have now been “made alive together with Christ” and by “grace been saved through faith” and yet do not have love, compassion, grace or mercy for others despite being recipients of these blessed gifts themselves. I pray we ask God to give His eyes and His heart as we remember that one day we lived in transgression and rebellion too. May it cause us to love others enough to be used by God to snatch some from the fire.
SSSssssooooo, “LET US hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful” therefore, if the Lord was to come right now, those who believe Him as Lord and Savior would be ready. The extended question would be, “who else would be ready because God made you ready?”