I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.”
(Hebrews 4: 14)
If there is one thing that we can rest assured in as believers of Christ is that we do because He has done. What do I mean by that?
I mean that our whole relationship with the Lord is a response. It’s a response to the story He has always been writing. Sometimes we think that we just all of a sudden show up in the story when we surrender our lives to Him. In reality, it’s that He’s made us alive in our spirit to see this grand story that He’s been writing since the creation of this world. Our surrender is an awareness to His Majestic plans that we are a part of. We are not afterthoughts of His plans. We are intentional to His plans. These plans include the building of His church on Earth that we are called to be a part of and the good work He’s prepared for us as we walk in Him (Ephesians 2:10) And we can see all of this because He opened our eyes.
It’s a response to His love. Not just any love. But a Holy love. This Holy love chose to come down and commune with rebels like us. The truth is we had no desire for Him or His ways. We were doing our own thing-following our own understanding. But God…rich in mercy…rich in grace…while we were still relishing in our sin, made us alive with Christ because of the great love with which He loved us (Ephesians 2:4). And that love shed in our hearts through the Holy Spirit is the love that we are able to love Him and others with (Romans 5:5). We love because He loved us.
All throughout Scripture, we read what God has done followed by how He empowers us to respond through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. Even then we see that we aren’t even capable of responding to Him without His help.
One of the ways in which we see this in the Scripture is through a significant word that richly displays this truth. This word is “Therefore.” We may even say that our walk is built on our understanding of the “Therefore’s” all throughout Scripture.
This powerful word brings together the truth and power of what God has done and the truth and necessity of the consequences of what He has done, which is often seen in how we are to respond by the way we live and think.
While there are hundreds of “Therefore’s” in His Word (which I encourage you to take the time and find them in your study) I want to focus on three of them that will encourage our trust in the Lord as we gaze upon His work and His call to us to respond to that work.
In Hebrews 4, the author gives the recipients of this letter a historical reminder on how the Israelites, who were the covenant people of God, would not enter what the author calls “God’s rest” which is His salvation. This was due to them choosing unbelief and disobedience over belief and obedience in God’s Promises for them while they were in the wilderness. So, he helps them see that this “rest” in the Lord is made available to them and their response will hopefully be in faith and not unbelief like the Israelites.
He encourages them (and us) with these truthful “Therefore’s”:
“Therefore, let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4: 11)
Why? After showing the Truth that this Rest (Salvation) is made available to them and to us, through the work of Christ, he invites their response to receive this Salvation that only He could provide. This is not a call to earn Salvation by our own works but an exhortation to enter salvation by faith. May we not follow after the example of Israel by hardening our hearts to His voice but respond without a resounding YES to this Rest.
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” (Hebrews 4: 14)
Why? Because He wasn’t a regular priest who had to make an atonement every year for the people and Himself like the priests in the Old Testament. He was perfect and His atonement was done once and for all (Hebrews 7:27). He accomplished His work of atonement so that our sins no longer are held against us. We no longer have to live in condemnation but now have peace with God. Our response to this? We must hold onto the confession of this glorious Truth with everything we have. Why? Because the enemy is out to make us forget His work.
“Therefore, let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Why? Because He’s been tempted greatly, yet remained sinless. He can sympathize with every weakness we experience. Christ’s accomplished work cultivates our confidence to draw near to Him and have communion with Him. We can ask for the help we need because He knows how much we need it. He doesn’t sit from a far and mock our weaknesses. He is well acquainted with them. This confidence in Him produces intimacy with Him. Draw near.
You see, it’s important for us to constantly be reminded of God’s great work in Christ so that we understand it’s never about us earning His salvation. Never about us trying to earn His forgiveness. Never about us coming in fear. But because of all that He’s done, let us be diligent to enter that rest. Let us hold fast to our confession. Let us draw near with confidence. It's all because of Him.
The weekly devotionals seek to encourage you to dig deeper into Scripture as you take the time to daily read, meditate, and internalize the verses in the devotional, along with the passages provided below to give greater context. Take the time to read them throughout the week (repetition is important) and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp what God is showing you about Himself, about you, and how to live in light of these truths.
Passages to read/memorize/meditate:
Romans 5: 5
Hebrews 4 (whole chapter)
Questions to reflect on: