So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
Hebrews 10:23, 35-36 (NIV)
Read: Hebrews 10:19-39
Consider: The writer of Hebrews encourages his readers not to throw away their confidence (v35). We need to ask ourselves what the source of that confidence is? Society puts great emphasis on self-confidence, and gives plaudits and accolades to those who appear self-confident in public. Society even teaches children to act in a self-confident way and discourages diffidence. Society tends to equate self-confidence with strength and diffidence with weakness. For the Christian and particularly the church this should not be the case. Look with me at Hebrews 10:19-23 where we can see that our confidence is not based on any inherent traits we might possess, but on:
– the cleansing blood of Jesus (v19);
– the sacrificial nature of Jesus’ death on the cross (v20)
– Jesus being our great high priest (v21);
– God being faithful (v23).
As Christians we can have confidence in God and what was achieved for us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Being self-confident before God would mean that we are relying on good works to try to earn our salvation. The Bible is clear that our salvation is based purely on God’s grace and not on who we are or what we can do (Romans 5:1-2; Galatians 2:16; Ephesian 2:8-9).
It is interesting that the writer of Hebrews mentions some of the believers giving up meeting together. Listen to what he says: And let us consider how we can spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25). This is as much of an issue today as it was almost 2,000 years ago. Why is it that some see non-attendance at church as only an issue for their own conscience? Do you see what Hebrews 10 is saying? Our attendance and involvement at church meetings (worship, small group, etc.) can have a very positive effect on others in the fellowship. By being there and getting involved we can spur others on (to love and good deeds). Additionally our presence acts as an encouragement to our fellow believers. The converse is also true: the presence and involvement of our fellow Christians spurs us on and encourages us. This gives meaning to what is taught in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 concerning the nature of the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:27 says: Now you are the body of Christ, and each of you is a part of it. If we absent ourselves from meeting with other Christians we are in fact weakening the body of Christ – the church.
Pray: Father, we thank you that our confidence comes from you and what you have done, rather than on anything we can do. May we be willing to spur on and encourage our fellow believers by being involved in the body of Christ. Amen