Hebrews 10:38-39 Don’t Shrink Back

“And, ‘But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.’ But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” Hebrews 10:38-39

Again the author quotes an Old Testament passage. This passage is from Habakkuk 2:4. The quote was looking forward to when Jesus–the Righteous One–would come. He had to live by faith. Jesus knew the path that God had set out for Him. He knew He would go through much persecution and finally death on the cross. In all of this Jesus had to have complete faith in God’s plan and that God would raise Him from the dead in the end. By natural sight Jesus could not see any reason God’s plan would work. He lived by faith.

God also states that He has no pleasure in those who shrink back. This shrinking back is backing away from His plan and refusing to have faith in it. Often people have read that God loves us, and will care for us and meet all of our needs. Yet, they get scared every time something goes wrong that God has left them and will not meet their needs. People often feel they need to help God in meeting the need. God does not like this at all.

Today you need to be of those who do not shrink back. Each day you need to walk forward in faith fully trusting God and His plan for your life. Do not be a disappointment to God.

I pray that today God will strengthen your faith in Him; that God will help you to live by faith; that you will not shrink back in any way from what God has for you; and that you will be pleasing to God.

Hebrews 10:26-27 Danger of Continued Sin

“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” Hebrews 10:26-27

Deliberate sin is sin that is purposefully done even after knowing that one should stop doing that sin.  In our court system judges look at this kind of issue. A person breaks the law by speeding down the road. The first time the police officer may let him off with a warning. The next few times the police officer will give a fine. If it continues a lot in a short period of time, the judge may then take the person’s license or more for refusal to obey the law.

God works in this same way. When a person first comes to God for salvation he does not know all the things that are sinful. God slowly reveals sin in his life as he walks more and more with Him. If a person continually refuses to obey a law God has revealed to him, he is in danger of God’s judgement. Often people will continue in a “fun” sin that they know is wrong. They feel that because God did not strike them down right then and there, it must be acceptable. These people forget that God is patient and is waiting for them to change, but if there is no change, then there will be judgment.

When we continue to purposefully sin in an area God has revealed to us as sin, we are spitting on the death of Jesus. We are in essence saying that His death means nothing to us. This type of sinning is not the accidental slip into sin. This is continuing to do a sin as you feel God’s Spirit telling you not to do it. Doing this is refusing to be the new creation that God has created you to be in Christ Jesus.

Today examine your life and see if there are any wicked habits in it. Ask God to help you turn from those sins. Ask God to reveal how horrid those sins are to Him. When you feel God’s Spirit telling you to not do something, don’t do it. Run away from all sin. Do not bring God’s wrath upon you.

I pray that today God will reveal all sin in your life; that God will give you the strength to overcome all sin; that God will help you to see sin as He sees it; that you will hear His voice directing you; and that God will make you the new creation you are meant to be.

Hebrews 10:22 Get Close to God

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22

We are encouraged to “draw near to God”. What does this mean? Drawing near to someone is to get close to that person. This is talking about being closer than just being physically close. Most people work around many other people in the workplace and yet are never “close” to most of those co-workers. This closeness is to get to know that person. We are to get to know the heart of God. What does God like? What does He hate? What does He desire? How does He feel about different things? All these questions cannot be answered unless you are close to God.

Along with getting close to God it must also be done with a sincere heart. This is coming to God to really want to be close to Him and follow Him. Often people come to God just to get out of a bad situation, not to serve and love Him. Others come to God only to keep from going to hell. We must come to God wanting to be near Him because He loves us and we love Him. As it has already been shown, God loves us and is here for us and for our best interests. Our interests are not always the best thing for ourselves. We must trust God to lead correctly and know fully in our hearts that He will do so.

The reason we can approach God in this manner is that because of the death and resurrection of Jesus our sins have been wiped out. No longer is there a guilty conscience condemning us to death…we have been forgiven. Satan will try to get you to think differently, reminding you of past sins. We are a new creation, a holy people.

Today get close to God. Throughout the day spend time in prayer to God. Spend time worshipping God all day. Read His Word and meditate on it. Study the Bible to find out what God has to say. Get to know God on a personal basis. Work to know God like you know the back of your hand.

I pray that today God will draw you closer to Himself; that God will reveal more of Himself to you; that God will help you to have a sincere heart; that God will help you to see that He has forgiven you of all sins; and that God will help you to be more like Jesus each day.

Hebrews 10:17-18 No More Needed

“Then he adds: ‘Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.’ And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.” Hebrews 10:17-18

The author of Hebrews again quotes from the Old Testament: Jeremiah 31:34. At the original time of this quote Jeremiah was looking forward into a future time. God was stating that there would come a day in which He will not remember a person’s sin or lawless acts. This was stated while still under the Law requiring sacrifices.

It is easy to forget that God was in control since the day Adam and Eve sinned. Many forget that even on that day He had a plan already in place to save all men from their sins. God knew that He would have to get rid of the sin in order to ‘not remember it’ anymore. Often people think that God felt He messed up and had to try a different plan–requiring sacrifices; and, then, when that did not work, He decided to send His Son to die for us. This was not the case at all. Jesus dying on the cross was the plan from the beginning. After Jesus died and rose again, God is willing to forgive the sins of all who believe in Jesus and what He did.

Here the author states that since man is forgiven there is no need for a sacrifice. Nearly every person will agree that there is no need for animal sacrifice anymore. But many will try to sacrifice other things because of a past sin. Often people will give extra money to the poor to “pay” for their sins and make themselves better for God; or they will do a charity work that they do not really want to do; or they will deny themselves any pleasure. Others will often quit praying because they feel God will not hear them anymore because of some sin they did. Still others will ask God to forgive them of a sin that they have asked forgiveness of a thousand times already. None of these things help at all.

God hears every person, no matter what he has done, if he calls out to Him with a sincere heart. When we accept what Jesus has done for us, we must accept that God has forgiven us and cast out the record of that sin. There is nothing that we can do to help purge a past sin from our lives, Jesus has done it all.

Today we need to rest assured that God has forgiven us of every sin we have repented of. If we ask God with a sincere heart to forgive all of our sins (without mentioning each one by name) He is willing to forgive immediately forever those sins. Do not try to add any type of sacrifice to God for your sins. Only seek God and do what He is calling you to do…nothing more, nothing less.  Turn away from those sins and nothing more is ever needed.

I pray that today God will reveal to you His love and forgiveness He has for you; that God will help you to see that you are forgiven in Jesus; that God will help you to see you do not need to do more to be forgiven; and that God will reveal to you the service He has in store for you each and every day.

Hebrews 10:5-7 Pleasing God

“Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am–it is written about me in the scroll–I have come to do your will, my God.'” Hebrews 10:5-7

When Jesus made this statement, He was talking to God the Father and was quoting from Psalm 40:6-8. He states that God does not really want burnt and sin offerings. Under the Old Testament Law this was what was required of God…burnt offerings and sin offerings for all the sins of the people.

Why did God not desire these offerings that He put in place?  God wanted fellowship with all men. In order to have that fellowship, all the sin in the lives of men had to be destroyed forever. These offerings could not completely get rid of sin out of a person’s heart and life.They were only a symbol of what was to come.

God saw this problem from the beginning and had a solution in mind. Jesus also understood the mindset of God. Jesus went before God the Father and stated that He was available to do whatever was needed to accomplish God’s desires. Jesus was ready to do God’s will. This was not an easy task. He knew that He would have to die for the sins of the people in order to please God. The death and resurrection of Jesus provided for the removal of all sins in our lives. We no longer have to sacrifice ourselves to get rid of sin, Jesus had done the work.

Often people feel like they must spend hours in prayer or Bible reading, or go to church every Sunday just to please God. This is not the case, although God desires those things also. What God wants from each person is to be willing to do His will in every area of their life. What is God asking you to do today? It may be a sacrifice in an area of your life. Or it may be to go speak to someone, or help someone. Or it may be to witness to a group. Or may be something crazy, like jumping up and down in the street. Only God can reveal His desires to you. He knows the big picture and what needs to happen and when. Ask God what He has for you each and every day. His will may not be the same each day for you.

Today I pray that God will reveal His will for your life to you; that God will open your ears to hear from Him; that God will open your eyes to see Him; that God will give you the strength to do His will; and that God will help you to say “Here I am, I have come to do your will, my God”.

Hebrews 9:24 In God’s Presence

“For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence.” Hebrews 9:24

In the Old Testament the tabernacle, and later the temple, were built by humans to house the Ark of the Covenant. This Ark of the Covenant was the physical location for God to meet with the high priest once a year for the sacrifices required. God would come down from heaven to meet with the high priest. This location was only a representation of heaven itself.

Since Jesus was perfect with no sin, after His death and resurrection, He entered straight into heaven into God’s presence. With the Old Testament high priests, they could only meet with God at one location, once a year. This severely limited their communication with God. On the other hand, Jesus is directly in God’s presence day and night every day of the year.

Not only is Jesus in God’s presence, He is also there for you and I. He is there to appear before God for us. Jesus is our representative before God. Earlier in Hebrews it talks of Jesus being our mediator and that He prays daily for us. How much better could it be than to be directly in the presence of God for our mediator to be?

Often today a worker has a situation to deal with. He must go to his immediate supervisor and tell him. Then that supervisor must take some time to get a meeting with the head boss to decide what must be done. It takes a good amount of time to get the information back to the worker and get the situation dealt with sometimes. With Jesus, this line of communication is immediate. He does not need to work at getting to the head boss–God, He is already in His presence.

Today you can stand assured that Jesus is still in the presence of God in heaven. Jesus is standing there to intercede for you. We do not have to wait for that one day a year for one person to go in before God, we can go daily–all day everyday.

I pray today that God will give you peace of mind that Jesus is there for you in His presence; that you will know that you can go before God any time you need; that you will go before God all the time for everything; and that Jesus will bring you into the presence of God with Him in the heavenly places.

Hebrews 9:14 Better Cleaning

“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” Hebrews 9:14

Under the Old Testament Law, goats and bulls were sacrificed and their blood was sprinkled to cleanse those who were unclean from sin. This cleansing was only an outward cleansing. Thus on the outside the people were clean, but on the inside their hearts and consciences were still full of sin. The blood of the animals was unable to cleanse their conscience. Each person still knew that they had sinned and deserved to die. Even the high priest had to offer these animal sacrifices for his own sin. There was a fear when he went into the Most Holy Place that his sins would not be completely covered by the blood.

Right before this verse there is a description of how Jesus entered into the Most Holy Place of God by His own blood, not the blood of goats and bulls. Jesus had no fear of entering the Most Holy Place. He had never sinned and had shed His own blood for all sin. His blood was perfect and still alive.

Since the blood of Jesus was perfect and unblemished it can fully cleanse us today from all sin. It can enter into our hearts and cleanse our conscience of sin because it can remove the sin, not just cover it up. This cleansing of our conscience is not just for our own sake. It is not just to make us feel good about ourselves, or to shine as a “good” person before others or God. It is so that we may serve the living God!

Each one of us has sinned many times, in many ways in the past, and continue to do so in various ways.  Often we cut ourselves down and say because of a past sin I can no longer do any service for God. But here in this verse it shows that because of the blood of Jesus, we now have all the more reason to serve God. It gives us more strength because we know that we are clean before Him. We do not have to worry about some past sin that God is going to kill us over. All sin has been wiped away from our lives when we confess our sins and believe in the saving power of Jesus and His blood.

With this in mind, go out and do a service for God. Seek God and find all that you can do for Him and do it all with everything that is in you. Remember, God is not against you. If God was against you He would not have provided for salvation for you. Today joyfully seek to do all you can for God because the blood of Jesus has purified your soul for these services.

Today I pray that God will reveal how much He has cleansed you from sin; that God will reveal to you how pure you are in Jesus; that God will open doors for you to serve Him more and more each day; that God will help you to forgive yourself of past sins; and that God will continue to make you more like Jesus each day.