Today you should read: Hebrews 13
What causes anxiety in you? Is it the desire for security from money? Are you afraid of failing? Maybe it’s a fear of something happening to your family? Maybe it’s a fear of always being single? Whatever the case may be many of us struggle with anxiety. Anxiety is described as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. How are we supposed to deal with the unknown of the future?
Freedom from anxiety is through laying down our pride and trusting in the one who actually has control. God is in control and he promises that he will “never leave you nor forsake you” (v.5). The real question is what does that promise mean to you? The only way for those words to bring you comfort is if you truly believe in the one true God and his power.
Posted by: Chad Wiles
Today you should read: Hebrews 12:18-29
I’ve heard it said, “You will never see the value of a pearl until it is pressed against dark velvet.” The meaning of that statement is simple: some things show you just how special other things are. Let me illustrate: babysitting might be fun, but it doesn’t compare to raising your own kids. Landing your first job waiting tables can seem exciting, but getting a job in the sweet spot of your calling is awesome. Eating Great Value ice cream might be tasty, but it’s nothing compared the black raspberry chip at Graeter’s. Remember the first time you saw an NFL or NCAA football game? Compare that to the local high school games. Taco Bell or Casa Fiesta? Come on.
The second half of Hebrews 12 exposes this to a deep level. The parallel we find points us back to the covenant the Lord made with Moses at Sinai. While this was a life-altering moment for Moses and the people of God, it wasn’t a final covenant. It was the dark velvet, setting up for the bright, white pearl. What is the pearl? The everlasting covenant offered to us in Jesus Christ. This is an unshakeable Kingdom that can never be taken away from us. It is the hope for all mankind.
The New Living Study Bible put it this way: This passage contrasts the old covenant with the new. The old covenant, represented by Mount Sinai (12:18-21), is depicted as impersonal, intimidating, and unapproachable; it booms, flashes, and terrifies. The new covenant, represented by Mount Zion (12:22-24), is depicted as relational, welcoming, and celebratory.
The only way to experience this Kingdom and covenant is through knowing Jesus. If you have come to know Him as your Savior, the promise in this passage applies to you! Take hope in that truth and let it encourage your heart today. Did the Lord teach you other things from this passage? We would love for you to share in the comments section below.
Posted by: Todd Thomas
Today you should read: Hebrews 12:1-17
The Christian life is not easy. It’s a battle against sin and our own selfishness every day. It requires hard work and discipline to live for Christ and be faithful to Him in this world. Verse 1 of our reading today should be a great encouragement to us because it refers us back to chapter 11 and all the great men and women of faith listed there who struggled to live a life of faith in their day as well. These are the giants of the Christian faith and we are told to emulate their faithfulness to God by battling sin like they did and persevering to the end.
Not only are we to emulate their faith, but most importantly, we emulate Christ. I challenge you to commit verse 2 to memory this week if you haven’t already memorized it. It is essentially the summation of how we will endure in this Christian life to the end: FIX OUR EYES ON JESUS! We are to fix our eyes on Jesus, fix our eyes on the cross, fix our minds on what He endured, and fix our hearts on how much He loves us. Jesus is the author of our faith (where our faith begins) and He is the perfecter of our faith (how our faith grows and endures).
Our faith in Christ leads us to live a life of obedience to Christ. However, in those moments of disobedience our loving Heavenly Father is there to discipline us for our good. We can all relate to how discipline is loving and for our good in our own lives as children or as parents. Good parents don’t just let their children do and act however they want to because their actions may be destructive and harmful to their lives. Because they love them, they discipline them and keep them from the harm that their actions would have led them to. The discipline certainly wasn’t fun for the child to receive, and not even for the parent to dish out, but it was necessary for the good of the child. God disciplines us when we are disobedient because He is a good Father who loves us and desires to produce a harvest of righteousness and peace within us (v.11)
Maybe you are in a season where God is trying to discipline you. In your hardship, realize that God is treating you as His child (v.7). He loves you immensely. So responding to that discipline in the right way is crucial. Instead of being angry and resentful towards God, accept God’s discipline in your life as a blessing from a loving Father who desires to keep you from destruction and make you more like Him.
Posted by: Matt Mofield
Today you should read: Hebrews 11:23-40
Today we pick back up the second half of the faith chapter in Hebrews. The writer of Hebrews talked about 4 people’s faith, mentions a few others and then talks about what that faith did for them.
- Moses’ Parents
They realized Moses was special and so, in spite of the laws on the land (Hebrew boys were to be killed on the spot), they hid Moses, floating him down the Nile in a basket where pharaoh’s daughter would find him and raise him.
Moses is credited for faith in three instances. One, he denied the pleasures and rices of comfort in Egypt to be with and stand up for God’s people. We saw that come to a head when he killed the Egyptian slave driver for striking an Israelite. He also is credited for his leaving after that same incident. He left despite the pharaoh being angry and having the ability and authority to chase him and kill him. The last faith story of Moses mentioned is interesting. The writer of Hebrews mentions that Moses exhibited faith when he commanded the people to keep the Passover by sprinkling blood on the doorposts. To be honest, I’m not sure why this particular plague is more important than the others. We do see that it is the only one God gives instruction for His people in. Perhaps it is the obedience of Moses and the people that demonstrates their faith.
- The Israelites
The people of Israel walked across the Red Sea on dry land. That is some incredible faith! The people had to trust God to not drop the sea on their head. They had to trust that it was from God at all and not just some freak of nature causing the sea to split. Then they had to also trust God to shut the waters back when the Egyptians came through. After this, the people showed faith by following God’s plan to march around Jericho to cause the walls to miraculously fall. God did some amazing miracles among the people of Israel and the people showed some great faith at times but then quickly forgot and lost faith. I don’t know about you but that sounds a lot like me.
Rahab, despite the odds of Israel actually defeating the more superior armies of Jericho, decided that God was with the Israelites and decided to welcome the spies, even though it would put her in danger. She was rewarded with safety and even becoming a part of the lineage of Jesus. Like her, when we exhibit faith despite the consequences, God blesses us.
What we can take away from today’s passage is this…
Faith takes many forms and can be exhibited in many ways but it always ends in God’s blessings.
Those blessings may not always take the form we might think o want but we can rest assured that, with faith in God, we will be exactly where God wants us to be.
Posted by: Robbie Byrd