Monday, June 4, 2012

Encourage one another………..

Watch out, brothers and sisters, so that none of you have an evil, unfaithful heart that abandons the living God.   Instead, encourage each other every day, as long as it’s called “today,” so that none of you become insensitive to God because of sin’s deception.   We are partners with Christ, but only if we hold on to the confidence we had in the beginning until the end.

 When it says, “Today, if you hear his voice, don’t have stubborn hearts
as they did in the rebellion.

 Who was it who rebelled when they heard his voice?  Wasn’t it all of those who were brought out of Egypt by Moses?  And with whom was God angry for forty years?  Wasn’t it with the ones who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert?   And against whom did he swear that they would never enter his rest, if not against the ones who were disobedient?   We see that they couldn’t enter because of their lack of faith.”  Heb. 3:12-19 CEB

By nature our hearts are hard, wandering and unbelieving.  At the end of v13 we see that things can get even worse through sin’s deceitfulness.  Sin lies to us. We are dying of thirst in the desert and instead of going to Jesus and asking for the living water of His Spirit – sin comes along and says “Here, have a bucket of salt. It’s much tastier than boring water.”

As we believe the deceitfulness of sin – it hardens us.  It makes us less and less likely to ask for the Living Water.  That is a scary thing. Sin does not change the Lord’s attitude to us so much as it changes our attitude to Him. Sin does not harden Jesus’ heart towards us – His death atones for it all.

But the really scary thing is that sin harden’s your heart towards Jesus.

On the positive side though – Hebrews teaches us about what God can do with our hard hearts.

We are told in Heb. 4:12 that the Word of God can come like a surgeon’s scalpel and cut out the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts.  It does not sound like a lot of fun, but heart surgery isn’t fun –--- it’s necessary.  When we read or hear the Word of God it can/will expose to us what our hearts are like.  

 Hebrews 10:22 says our hearts can be sprinkled by the blood of Jesus.  It is the idea of Christ’s death becoming so real to us that we feel the benefits of His sacrifice deep in our hearts.  In the OT whatever was sprinkled by the blood of the sacrifice was (ceremonially) cleansed.  So if we have our own hearts sprinkled by Jesus’ blood, we know the deep cleansing of our hearts through Christ’s sacrifice.

So the Word of God exposes us, but the Cross of Christ cleanses us.

There is a remedy for our hearts – the Word of God to expose our sin, the Cross of Christ to cleanse our heart and the Spirit of God to renew us.

However, there’s one other key weapon in the fight against a hard heart.  Read with me from vs 12-13:

 “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.  But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

Encourage one another each day so that none of you may be hardened.  This is a crucial weapon in the fight against hardness and unbelief.  

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