June 05, 2020 – Friday
Hebrews 10:32-34 NIV
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.
If you go to the Bible Project video on the book of Hebrews you will be surprised to learn that the verses above explain the purpose and structure of this letter to Jewish Christians at about the 1:20 mark. Then the video says the letter has a twofold purpose: 1) to elevate Jesus above everything and everybody else (angels, Moses, priests) and 2) to challenge the reader to remain faithful to Jesus despite persecution.
One of the readers of these verses and comments made mention about Thursday’s Verse of the Day 2 Timothy 3:12 [In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted] “just isn’t the sort of promise on the frig or on a flowery card at the Christian bookstore.” The same could be said about 10:33 above Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. But maybe both, and others like them, should be made into cards and into memory verses.
Too often nowadays all Christians want to do is talk about Grace – a particularly wonderful subject – without any mention at all of hell or how undeserving we are of grace. Bible study is great and as you know from a few recent posts I love Bible studies. However, any study without an awareness of how none of deserved grace and that grace saved us from an eternity in hell.
It is the same with the verses from Thursday and today. Few of us are really prepared to stand firm in the faith, instead wanting to simply ‘get along’ with everyone without speaking any truths about Jesus, the Son of God, who died for our sins because of His and His Father’s great love for us – us individually, each and every one of us.
The author of this letter knows, that is why he said about the Hebrew Christians, You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.
Then he went on to add 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay.”[ 38 And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
So are we in the group that lives by faith or in the group of those who shrink back? Do you stand side by side with those who were so treated being publicly exposed to insult and persecution? How you may ask? How about prayer? Do you pray and hurt for your brothers and sisters around the world who to face real and terrible persecution? How about those in our own country who lose their livelihoods because they won’t celebrate sin.
How about family or friends who are ridiculed, made fun of, laughed at because of their deep faith. Do you remain silent, quiet as a mouse, or do you stand with them and identify yourself as one of ‘them’ to those who are so intent on insulting those of faith? The author of this letter may have been writing to the Hebrews, but he clearly had a message for us as well.
We have no righteousness of our own. The only righteousness we have is imputed to us via Christ’s payment for our sins on the cross. Thus Paul says in Romans 1:17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” It is only our faith in Jesus that provides us with any righteousness at all. We can claim none on our own. None.
So, any chance any of you will be placing either or both of these verses on your refrigerator as a memory verse? Something to think on as the weekend is upon us and soon most of us will be attending church.