There is an old adage that says, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” It’s wise not to take on more responsibilities than we can handle. At some time, however, we will likely feel overwhelmed by the size and difficulty of a task we have agreed to do.
This can happen even in our walk of faith in Christ when our commitment to God seems too much to bear. But the Lord has an encouraging word for us when our confidence wavers.
The writer of Hebrews urged his readers to recall the courage they demonstrated during the early days of their faith (10:32-33). Despite public insults and persecution, they aided believers in prison, and they joyfully accepted the confiscation of their own property (vv.33-34). With that in mind, he says, “Therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (vv.35-36).
Our confidence is not in ourselves but in Jesus and His promise to return at just the right time (v.37).
It is God’s power that enables us to continue in our journey of faith. Recalling the Lord’s faithfulness in days past stirs our confidence in Him today.
When life becomes a heavy load, An upward climb, a winding road, In daily tasks, Lord, let me see That with me You will always be. —D. DeHaan
Trusting God’s faithfulness stirs up our confidence.
Severely opposed and persecuted, Jewish Christians were pressured to abandon Christianity and to revert to Judaism. The unnamed writer of Hebrews encouraged them to continue in the faith by affirming the preeminence, superiority, and sufficiency of Christ through His person and position (Heb. 1–4) and His work of propitiation (chs. 5–10). He also warned them against rejecting Christ (2:1-3; 3:7-15; 6:4-6). Here, in his final exhortation, he reminded them of their exemplary faithfulness in enduring the mistreatments thus far (10:32-34) and of the great reward that would be theirs if they persevered (vv.35-36). He was confident that they would succeed (v.39).
The Bavarian city of Nördlingen is unique. It sits in the middle of the Ries Crater, a large circular depression caused by the impact of a huge meteorite a long time ago. The immense pressure of the impact resulted in unusual crystallized rock and millions of microscopic diamonds. In the 13th century, these speckled stones were used to build St. George’s Church. Visitors can see the beautiful crystal deposits in its foundation and walls. Some might say it has a heavenly foundation.
The Bible talks of a different kind of heavenly foundation. The Lord Jesus came to our world from heaven (John 3:13). When He went back into heaven after His death and resurrection, He left His followers who became the “living temple” of God, of which He is the foundation. The apostle Paul says, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11).
The church building in Bavaria is built on a foundation from pieces of rock from the physical heavens. But the spiritual church—all believers in Christ—is founded on the ultimate heavenly foundation, Christ Jesus (Isa. 28:16; 1 Cor. 10:3-4). Praise God that because of what Jesus has done our salvation is secure.
On Christ salvation rests secure; The Rock of Ages will endure; Nor can that faith be overthrown Which rests upon the “Living Stone.” —Anon.
Christ, the Rock, is our sure hope.
In today’s passage, Paul uses both agricultural and architectural metaphors to warn of an overreliance and dependence on church leaders. Using an agricultural metaphor, he reminds us that while human leaders do the planting and watering, God alone can make the church grow (1 Cor. 3:1-9). And with the architectural metaphor of a building, Paul warns that no human leader is the founder of the church (vv.10-11). God alone is the founder and foundation.
At a dog show near my home, I watched a Cardigan Welsh corgi named Trevor perform. At his master’s command, he ran several yards away and immediately returned, he jumped fences, and he identified objects using his sense of smell. After finishing each exercise, he sat down at his master’s feet and waited for more instructions.
Trevor’s careful attention to his master’s instruction reminded me of the devotion God desired from His people as they followed Him through the wilderness. God led in a unique way. His presence appeared as a cloud. If the cloud ascended, He wanted His people to move to another area. If the cloud descended, they were to stay put. “At the command of the Lord they remained encamped, and at the command of the Lord they journeyed” (Num. 9:23). The Israelites followed this practice day or night, regardless of how long they had to remain in one place.
God wasn’t simply testing the Israelites; He was leading them to the Promised Land (10:29). He wanted to take them to a better place. So it is with us when God asks us to follow Him. He wants to lead us to a place of closer fellowship with Himself. His Word assures us that He is loving and faithful in leading those who humbly follow Him.
In fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet, Or we’ll walk by His side in the way; What He says we will do, where He sends we will go; Never fear, only trust and obey. —Sammis
God asks His children to follow the Leader.
The tabernacle (Num. 9:15) was not only a place of worship, it was intended to be the center of Israel’s national life. This “tent of meeting” also foreshadowed the incarnation of Christ, the living Word who “dwelled” (that is, “tabernacled”) among us in a tent of human flesh (John 1:14).