Monday, August 18, 2014

Hope for Today: Inherit the Promise

I recently wrote a study of the book of Hebrews. While researching and reading before the writing phase, I recognized the recurring theme of perseverance weaved throughout the book. This has also become a recurring theme in my life and, indeed, it is a critical element in the life of every Christian living intentionally for God.

In Hebrews 6:12, the author writes, "We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised." These words call believers to hold on to what they know, letting nothing shake the foundation of their faith, advancing from spiritual milk to the solid food needed to mature in Christ. Laziness and complacency are our spiritual enemies, but faith and patient endurance are friends on our journey to inherit God's promises.

As Christians, we face the danger of staying stuck in the information phase of our faith knowledge without fruit. Learning is essential, but if we don't apply what we learn, our lives will not bear fruit for God's kingdom. We may even become puffed up by our knowledge when our lives are starving for a gospel that's alive in us and revealed in the world through our actions.

We have no better example of persevering, active faith than Jesus. Sent to rescue the world from the power of sin and death, he was misunderstood, mocked, and killed. But betrayal didn't stop him. Rejection didn't discourage him. Threats did not diminish him or his resolve. Why? Jesus knew and lived by the truth. He knew who sent him. He knew his creation. And he knew who he was.

Jesus' sense of mission, abiding communion with his Father, and the empowering of the Holy Spirit grounded him completely. Jesus stood firm. Nothing could sway him.

I want that perseverance. I want that certainty. I want that determination. And the good news is that I can have it. We can have it. But, to attain it, we must do as Jesus did. We must claim our identity in God and find our purpose there. We must stay in communion with Jesus, the way to the Father. And we must live filled by the Spirit who gives us the power to live for Jesus.

Lake Gem at Canterbury Retreat Center, a sacred space.

Ponder with me: Am I still sipping spiritual milk or have I moved on to solid food? Am I puffed up and immobilized by knowledge without relationship?

Lord Jesus, help me mature through a relationship with You, that I may not shrink back when life gets tough but continue to believe and trust You, my Savior and my Lord.

Persevere!
Dr Mari

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
Hebrews 6:19

For more on perseverance, read Adversity's Gift: Perseverance and Second Chances: Heaven's Heart.

I wrote and published a version of this post in The Journey, a quarterly publication of Bible Reading Fellowship. 

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