Don’t Give Up!
Ask the Lord to speak to you through this reading today. Expect to hear, and to obey what you hear.
Read Hebrews 10:26-39
 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,  but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.  Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  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?  For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”  It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  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.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.  For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”  And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”  But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat is the writer urging on his readers here?
My life is ruled by deadlines. If I don’t renew my driver’s license, I may not drive the car. As a nurse, if I don’t pay my certification fees, I won’t be able to work. If I miss a writing deadline, my work won’t be published. If we forget the phone bill, we’ll be unable to phone, or Skype. We all try not to miss deadlines. How sad, then, that so many people miss the most important deadline of all. No matter who we are, how old we are, how well off we are, or where we live, one day we will all die. We will each appear before Almighty God (9:27). Where the Old Testament sacrifices only pointed to a coming Redeemer (8:5a), today we can draw near to God through Jesus Christ. The first readers of Hebrews had already faced persecution, yet they stayed strong in their faith (32-34). However, the writer fears that as they face constant criticism and further tribulation, they might turn back to their old ways. He urges them, and us, to hang in there (35,36). The key issue is not how we started out as Christians (no matter how dramatic our conversion experience), but how we end.
What person, habit or activity puts the most negative pressure on your spiritual life? Pray to stand firm in your faith.
Gracious Lord, I pray for determination and strength to stand firm for You no matter what pressures I face.
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