Today’s Bible readings can be found here: Jeremiah 46:1-12 and Hebrews 6:1-20.
Hebrews 6:10 “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” (NIV)
One of the problems that the Early Church had to face was how to keep people connected to the local congregation. When the Gospel was first preached, its novelty attracted and excited many people, but as the years passed by, their enthusiasm diminished and the burden of maintaining their faith, especially in the face of persecution, was too much to carry, sustain, and endure. It was far easier to return to their old ways and give up on the church; it was also much more convenient because having faith complicated their lives and affected their decisions.
The author of Hebrews dealt with this dilemma by cautioning church folks to safeguard their faith and to preserve their salvation by remaining active members. Falling away ran the risk of losing everything which the letter writer called ‘crucifying Christ again,’ as if it were an act of betrayal. Some folks worried about this and felt as though they were losing their connection to God, so the author reassured them that by maintaining their good works and loving God’s people – the church – they would not be forgotten by God. In other words, they kept both their faith and salvation alive by continually serving, worshiping, and glorifying God with their lives.
Today, there’s a lot being discussed and written about the ‘nones’ and the ‘dones,’ – people who will have nothing to do with the church, as well as folks who say they are done with church. As always people make their own choices, but the consequences to their eternal souls can be devastating. We may want God to uphold our beliefs and give us a pass when it comes to being inconsistent as Christians, but there’s nothing in the New Testament that would indicate this is how God operates, or how salvation is sustained. If we’re not reading the Bible, how can we know the Truth? If we’re not worshiping Christ, how can we call ourselves ‘Christian?’
Point to ponder: How much attention do I give to maintaining my faith? What does God expect me to do in order to follow Christ?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are gracious and merciful, loving and forgiving, but You are not indulgent or indifferent about our lives. You died for us to offer salvation for our souls. Help us to value this gift as the most amazing blessing of our earthly lives and teach us to embrace it respectfully, gratefully, and faithfully. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
Today’s image is one of John’s Celtic Cross drawings called ‘Neo-Celtic Cross.’ If you would like to view a larger version, click here.