I cannot believe that there are twelve chapters left to read. While I never thought I'd actually reach this point, it seems like only yesterday that we were beginning this journey. Wednesday we will be ending this journey...and I am not the same. As the writer of Hebrews says, "For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12,13. I know that these words in this Book were meant for me this year. Too many times His Words have coincided with whatever events were going on in my life. I have been so blessed to live in a country where I can read my Bible through. Without persecution or fear. Actually, I am blessed to live in a country where I can choose to read my readings from one of several Bibles I own.
I struggled some with Hebrews. I don't know if it's changing the rhythm of writing after reading nothing but Paul or if it was the content itself. I found myself having to go back and reread certain passages to be sure that I didn't miss anything. Here's what lingered in my heart this week:
...but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Hebrews 4:2b I never want to hear that His message is of no value to me.
But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:14 The words "constant use" fascinate me. Am I allowing His teachings to permeate every part of me? Do I constantly use the Word as a measuring stick for all that I encounter?
...and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him. Hebrews 9:28b I love the picture of the believers waiting for Him. Are my mind and heart focused on Him? Would He consider me to be waiting for Him?
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23 Enough said.
Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did. 1 John 2:6 Can people see by my walk that He lives in me?
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 1 John 3:17 I was recently reminded of this verse through a situation that we encountered. Once again, am I reflecting Him? Do I see the opportunities He places before me to be "the body of Christ?"
We covered many standards in this week's reading as well. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock", "faith is being sure of what we hope for", and "without faith it is impossible to please God" to name a few. I love reading along and coming across these gems...it's like finding an old friend nestled in amongst new concepts.
While I find much of Revelation confusing and beyond my grasp, I have to marvel at the pictures John paints for us. Most endearing was this:
Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Revelation 7:16-17
It has been a privilege and a pleasure to take this journey with you. I look forward to seeing each of your precious faces one day, whether on this earth or in heaven.
...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus...