Becoming a disciple: In Christ alone

Scripture – Hebrews 10:39

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.

Observation

There is nothing else to do, but to persevere. This is a promise, an exhortation, a command. We are not to shrink back and be destroyed, but we believe and are saved.

This means we need to keep our eyes on the prize, which is Jesus. We cannot and must not start off bold and courageous just to wither under the pressure as time goes on. We must strive to keep focused on the one who holds all things together. Too many glances behind us breeds doubt which breeds slowing down which breeds stopping which breeds death. We have the strength in Jesus to keep going and simply believe. The trouble is, the longer we live the more time the enemy has to figure out our weaknesses and potential ways he can distract us. So the longer we live the more we need to surrender all our weaknesses to Jesus, to be hidden from the enemy.

Application

The older I get the more weaknesses and flaws I see in myself. The more I realize my need for Jesus. I need to lay every area of my life before him, which helps me keep my eyes on him, so that I might not shrink back and be destroyed.

Prayer

Jesus, I give you all my weaknesses today. I give you my youth, my inexperience, my immaturity, my lack of wisdom, my pride, my arrogance, my lack of knowledge and understanding, my past sins and the sins of my father and grandfathers, my fears and my insecurities. I give them to you to be hidden in you, redeemed by you, used by you for your kingdom and your glory’s sake. I am nothing. You are all. In you I am held together. Thank you for keeping my heart and my eyes set on the prize, which is you alone. Thank you that Jesus plus everything = Jesus alone. I believe and I am saved by your great mercy and grace. Let that truth be never far from my thoughts. In Christ alone I stand. In Christ alone.

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Becoming a disciple: Never shrink back

Scripture – Hebrews 10:32-38

But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For,

“Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”

Observation

After someone accepts Jesus as the only one who is able to save them, life often gets hard. There are struggles and sufferings, reproach and affliction. There is usually a physical, emotional, mental, and physical plundering or recalibrating of what used to be important.

Faith is a clinging to a hope which seems like nonsense to those who do not believe. Having a steadfast confidence in the great reward is what will produce endurance.

Living by faith is a MUST, not a suggestion.

If we shrink back in our faith, it doesn’t please our Father.

Application

Each day the enemy wants to get me to throw away my confidence. Or at least to leave it in a shoe box in the closet.

There is a great reward for true confidence, never shrinking back, always enduring.

So, when I feel oppressed and reproached, and when suffering and struggles come my way – I MUST push even deeper into faith and confidence and NEVER shrink back.

Prayer

Father, thank you for the gift of faith in the promise of eternity with you. Help me never shrink back when suffering and hard times come. Let me be a man of faithfully endures til the end. In the powerful name of Jesus, amen.