DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-09-23
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 3:12-14
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
BIBLE TEXT: 12 So, brothers and sisters, be careful that none of you has the evil thoughts that cause so much doubt that you stop following the living God. 13 But encourage each other every day, while you still have something called “today.[a]” Help each other so that none of you will be fooled by sin and become too hard to change. 14 We have the honor of sharing in all that Christ has if we continue until the end to have the sure faith we had in the beginning.
OBSERVATION: After reading the subject, you probably can’t imagine how I figured you out, right? You know, way too often you have heard people exclaim how stubborn you are and how challenging it would be to try and change you – because they are sure you are just way to hard to change! So what causes that? What brings that level of stubbornness into you? In our Scripture today we are warned about accepting the wrong kind of change in our lives, because it may just become too hard to change you back to the one true God. But there’s great advice on ways to help prevent this, so stay with me as we meditate on this together.
APPLICATION: No doubt most of my readers will remember how God worked miracle after miracle to change the heart of Pharaoh and have him agree to let the Israelites depart from his workforce in peace, for they were burned out on the demands of their slavery. Anyone not familiar with the story would definitely assume that the Israelites must have been a thankful bunch who would look for every opportunity to thank God for His goodness, especially after removing them from a harsh environment. However, the Bible is clear that this must have been the most ungrateful tribe ever created by God, for they never stopped whining and complaining with every little hiccup along the way From Egypt. In fact, it got so bad that God finally told them that they would continue their journey through the Wilderness until every one of the original tribe had passed away, because it became evident that they were unprepared to change their ways. Our Scripture is reminding us today that we should make every effort to never allow ourselves to get in that position. But don’t you sometime feel that you are stuck in a rut and it seems like no matter how hard you try, you just can’t shake the awful curse of sin in your life and the rotten attitude that comes with knowing you should do better than what you seem to be achieving? But look at how Paul suggested that we overcome our hopelessness – Encourage one another and try to help each other overcome their weakness. Wouldn’t you think that all you could accomplish with that is to share your misery with them? Friends, let me share an example with you that might open all of our eyes on why it is so important to try and help others. One of my wife’s best friends was given the final sentence on her cancer, since no doctor could seem to resolve her problem. My wife hesitated, and procrastinated for as long as possible, because she was at a loss for words that she would share to encourage her friend. After gaining the courage to call, it was amazing how my wife was the one to finish the call feeling refreshed in her spiritual life and closer to the Lord, because her friend was just so encouraging and uplifting! So although you may feel that you would only go through the motions in calling or visiting a friend who might be struggling spiritually, I believe that you might be the one who is uplifted in your spirit! But notice what else Paul advised us to do – follow through in doing what appears necessary to help a Brother or a Sister struggling in their faith, otherwise they may become hardened in that old culture of sin and strife, making it almost impossible to see them return refreshed in their Christian faith. Let me suggest that you put yourself in the shoes of that friend. Wouldn’t you be begging silently to have a Christian Brother or Sister pull up alongside of you and help you snap out of the deep pit you seemed to have fallen into? Friends, this brings us back to the comparison of the Israelites. We not only want to be included in that number that finishes the race successfully, but we want to be sure that our family and friends are right there with us. So let us encourage one another to love and good works, knowing that one day, and I believe that it will be very soon, we will rejoice at the feet of our Master and Lord for all eternity!
PRAYER: Dear Lord, You saved us from a life of sin and from the evil of this world, yet the struggles of this old world is still very prevalent and presents a strong opposition to our walk with You. Please give us strength daily so that we may stand strong in our faith. Please give us boldness so that we may overcome the power of the evil one, and give us a sincere heart for those who are running the same race as us, as we head towards the finish line where we will see You face-to-face and worship You forever. Please forgive us for not keeping our eyes fixed on You at all times. We need You each and every day to walk alongside of us and be our Guide, Protector and forever Friend. Praise God, You are Lord of all! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!