This morning was a day of reflection. You know, for me, the best day of the week and the most difficult is Sunday. On Sunday morning I have an opportunity to join with my Church family to worship and praise God. I am given an opportunity to listen to my preacher share the Good News of Jesus Christ whether from the old testament or the new. But as wonderful as Sundays are they are also my most difficult.
The noise, whether it be the praise band or the sermon, can sometimes be overpowering. The emotion of the process is as draining as leaving your lights on in the parking lot only to find a dead battery that is too dead to start the car.
I am not complaining, on the contrary, I need that time together with other believers to praise and worship my God. I also need the sermon. It is like that blast of starter fluid on a charcoal grill… The flame in my heart burns bright and hot, but that lighter fluid will not sustain me. It is just the boost that I need to help keep everything moving. I am reminded of Hebrews 10:19-25, ‘The Full Assurance of Faith’ is the title in my translation.
I look at verses 19-22 and I am reminded of the gift given to me through Christ Jesus. He paid my fine and took on my sin… He died for me, but overcame death and is now my great high priest.
“19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
These words are so powerful. They remind me of a price paid that I should not… no… must not take for granted. Jesus died for me and rose on the third day overcoming death. He endured things that I cannot fathom that my sins might be forgiven.
Look at verse 22
“22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
As I ponder these words I am overwhelmed…
“Let us draw near with full assurance of faith.”… I cannot do this halfway. I must operate in full assurance of my faith. I must hold fast…
I look at verse 23 and God through the author reminds me to hold fast… Hold fast to my confession of my hope…
“23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. “
What a blessing. What a gift. Why would I not hold fast because I know that God is faithful? And I cannot simply rest on that understanding. I must also consider those around me and my example… I need to remember we all need encouragement… and that brings me to verses 24-25
God knows my heart and he knows I cannot do this on my own. He placed me in a church family, not just for my own needs but for the things I might bring to others to encourage and stir them up. I love this reminder in 24-25.
24And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 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 10:19-25 (ESV)
Verse 24-25 reminds me of my own weakness. My own down days when it is hard to get started. When my spirit is weak and I need encouragement and prayer. I am reminded of my needs, but at the same time, I am reminded of the needs of others.
I am reminded of a simple thing a friend did for me one Sunday when I was really down. I had kind of gotten frustrated with things. I am not sure what anymore, but I have not forgotten what they said as we walked from the basement sanctuary to our car.
What he said is not important, but the encouragement it gave me and my wife Pat, cannot be measured. I doubt the person realized what he had done and I am sure that he does not remember doing it, but it changed my walk that day.
I am not a source of light. My light comes from the Holy Spirit. I simply reflect it like the moon reflects the light of the sun.
My hope is that I reflect the Light of Jesus in everything I do. I pray that I might encourage those around me like they encourage me.
I will not neglect to meet together. It is such a blessing. It is such a joy. And who knows something I say may help someone else… I know the reverse happens every time I meet with believers.
Heavenly Father. I pray that you might give me the strength to hold fast to my faith at all times. I pray that I may reflect the light of Jesus to all those I come in contact with.
Father, I pray for my church family as well that they might know your love and your peace and be an encouragement to one another. That we might “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works”. Thank you, Father, for all your provision.
In Jesus name, I pray,