Keep On Keeping On
Gracious God, thank You for all the help and encouragement that I find each time I come to Your Word.
Read Hebrews 4:1-11
 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.  For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.  Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.'” And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world.  For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.”  And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”  Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience,  God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”  For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.  There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;  for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.  Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. 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 this writer encouraging his readers to understand?
Encouragement to continue being faithful opens and closes these verses, as they look back and look forward. We’re reminded of how God rested after his work of creation was completed, and how it pointed to the blessing of the end times. We’re encouraged to start to experience that blessing now (3) and understand that it’s still available for others. The warning of Saturday’s reading still rings clear; the author is eager that the Hebrews keep on keeping on (1) and do all they can to be in the place of rest (11). The sense of concern to experience all that God has for them is strong, as is the reminder that disobedience stops people from experiencing it (6). To change a well-known Chinese saying, a journey of a thousand miles contains many single steps. Being faithful to Christ is an hour-by-hour, step-by-step business. It’s achieved through small decisions to put him first every day, as well as the large, life-changing ones we make. It’s achieved in ordinary, daily life much more than in extraordinary happenings. When we trip up, asking for forgiveness is part of it, too.
Life is a journey. Where are you in your Christian journey? Where would you like to be? How can you get there?
Lord, as I journey through life, I pray that You will be my guide and helper so that I may daily follow You.
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