"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds" Hebrews 10:24 NIV
At the begining of each month, I search CrossCards.com to find a new desktop wallpaper with a calendar for my computer. The one I chose this month is bright and colorful and makes me ready for spring. Hebrews 10:24 is printed in the middle. I have an ESV study bible, so I often times take a moment to read verses in my bible that I may find in another translation, just to get a better understanding.
"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,"
Hebrews 10:24 ESV
Then, my curious mind wandered to the whole scripture passage. Often times it is good to see the full context of a verse. I wanted to see where this verse came from and where it was going.
"Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Hebrews 10:19-31
There is so much in this passage of scripture. I called my mom just after I read it to talk to her about it. Turns out, she has the very same wallpaper, so she was familiar with the verse that brought me here. Oftentimes, she helps me understand scripture but this time, she shed a new light.
As I read the passage to her, I had my focus towards the end of the passage. Verses 29-31 really hit my heart: "How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
What powerful statements.
I don't want to be under God's wrath.
However, her review of it led her to focus more on the middle section. What stuck out with her was verses 26 and 27: "For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries." She reminded me of a posting that I did a few months ago on one of my old blogs - one about glottony. And in her kindest words, she reminded me that even with the words of that post and knowing that glottony is a sin, I haven't made any change to my eating habits. Day in and day out, I continue to fall into the sin of glottony. I know this is a sin... yet, I continue to go about it. And what did this whole passage of scripture just tell me? Yet, I don't want to fall under God's wrath? I surely cannot have my cake and eat it too - no pun intended.
We all have sins as these. Ones that we do repeatedly.
It may not be murder, drugs, or theft, but in God's eyes gluttony, cussing, gossip are the same.
I recently started a bible study with a few ladies in my church. It is one of Pricilla Shirer's titled One in a Million. Last week's homework honed in on the Israelites and God bringing them out of bondage/slavery of Egypt (Exodus 1). As God was getting them to their promised land - to their land of milk and honey, they complained about the food that was being provided. It definitely wasn't the fish, melon, garlic, and good stuff that the Egyptians offered - it was unleavened bread. Honestly, that is the way that I feel when I have to restrict myself on food. I so want that Whopper - not the junior size, and fries (medium size) at Burger King for lunch, but I need to stay at the office and eat the sandwich that I brought with the right portion of chips. AND BE SATISFIED.
God provides the food that I need, why do I worry so much about getting more?
Do we really understand how bad sin is? Do we live like we understand its consequences daily? Would our lives change dramatically if we began to live as though we truly understood how angry our sins make our God? Yes, we are still going to sin. We are human. However, would we be more convicted of those sins that we think are small and continue to cry out to God for forgiveness for those sins as well as the "big" ones if we truly understood how grave each and every sin is?
Certainly something to think about.