Ever-listening Father, speak to me clearly from Your Word as I draw near to You today.
Read HEBREWS 11:32-40
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.
“Lord of mercy you have heard my cry; / through the storm you’re the beacon, my song in the night … / What a faithful God have I!” (R. & D. Critchley).
If you have time this weekend, read the whole of Hebrews (a “quite brief” letter, 13:22!) to grasp the whole sweep of the author’s argument. Since Jesus is such a great Savior, better than angels, Moses, Joshua, Aaron or Levi; because he offers eternal redemption by the power of his indestructible life (7:16); because he is a completely tempted but sinless priest (7:26-28); because he offers a more excellent ministry based on better promises (8:6), a better hope (7:19), a better covenant (7:22), a once-for-all redemption forever (9:13,14), a unique, unrepeatable sacrifice; because he offers unlimited access (10:19,20): let us persevere in obedient, hopeful trust, not shrinking back but keeping the faith (10:39). “By perseverance the snail reached the ark” (C. H. Spurgeon).
In ch. 11 we are given examples—real-life examples, a whole cathedral cemetery full of them, named and unnamed heroes of the faith. Some of them, in today’s passage, were “winners” and some of them would be viewed as “losers.” All were looking for a better life (35,40). Their faith was attested, in all walks of life, but they were also reaching out to what they did not yet see. Can I add further examples from my knowledge of Church history on my own continent and from my own life experience? There is always a “but,” an “against,” a fight in faith—a fight against fear, sin’s seduction, jealousy of others, loneliness, and the desire for wealth and security; against apparently insuperable obstacles (the Red Sea, the walled city of Jericho); and against disobedience. So, remembering Jeremiah, I fix my eyes on Jesus, Pioneer and Perfecter of my faith, Exemplar of trustful, persevering, joyful obedience. Oh yes!
“Allow Christ to enfold you, to envelop you completely in his own indestructible life. Pour your feeble intercessions into his, your weak hope into his. Thus he will save you to the uttermost, forever. This is the High Priest we have!” (Dennis Lennon).
Lord, I long to experience all of Your fullness in my life. Help me to be like Paul, reaching forward with anticipation to what lies ahead.
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