Keep the Faith
The book of Hebrews is my favorite book and as I’ve said before, Hebrews 4:16 is my favorite verse. I remember as a teenager, in my High School Sunday School class, studying it. Our teacher didn’t want to rush through the book, so we went through it verse by verse. It took quite a long time, and I came to love this book.
The theme of Hebrews focuses on God’s plan of salvation and Jesus as our Savior and High Priest (Hebrews 4). What stands out to me is how the writer of Hebrews encourages the Believer by emphasizing Jesus’ standing and the fact that He is God’s Son, and as such, has a position of power and authority; ruling over angels, and being seated in a place of importance at the right hand of God, the Father to rule and reign. Yet He became a man and lived and experienced the things we do, all without sin, so that He could be the perfect sacrifice for us, and as such, is able to comfort, guide, and understand our failings.
The writer warns against drifting away from our faith, turning our backs on God’s gift of salvation and the faith we have in Jesus. We must “pay close attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away”. (Hebrews 2:1 NIV) That’s why a quiet time of prayer, meditation, Bible study, and gathering together with other Believers to learn and worship is extremely important. Without these things in our lives, we become weak and ineffective, and are prone to slip and fall.
We have to guard against complacency and “busyness”. That is so easy for us to fall into. Life gets so hectic and before you know it, we’re focused on everything else but our relationship with God. We have to be intentional about our walk with the Lord. For me, sometimes I find that so hard. Life seems to get in the way too easily, and before long I’ve neglected the most important relationship in my life, my relationship with Jesus Christ. I find myself running around doing all sorts of important things, only to collapse in exhaustion at the end of the day, and talking with Jesus is the last thing on the “to do” list.
Another part of complacency is allowing our church services to become rote. We sing three hymns, take the offering, and listen to a sermon, and go home, all without thinking of why we’re there, or even attempting to learn or participate. We punch our “time card” or check church off of our “to do” list and feel we have done our duty.
Do we really seek to understand what it is God has for us? Do we apply the sermon to our lives and endeavor to look inside of ourselves to see if there is anything that we need to get right with God? Do we take an active part in worship that is from the heart and not just doing the bare minimum to get by? Do we allow the sermon to change us?
I find I have to check myself on a regular basis, and many times I have to come face to face with Jesus, repent of my sin, and ask for His help. This life we have as Believers is not meant to be easy; it takes effort. However, it is not meant to be “works” driven either. It is meant to be “faith” driven. We are to allow our faith to grow, and when that happens we grow from babes in the faith to mature in the faith.