May 1, 2018

Hebrews 6:9–12 (NLT) — 9 Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. 10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. 11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. 12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.

In the verses before these the writer to the Hebrews wrote about believers who seemed to have given up on Christ. But now he changes gears and says that he doubts that will happen to the friends he is writing to. He says that he is confident that they will move on to maturity by continuing to care for other believers in their time of need. The word confident has the meaning of a cable tied to and anchor. His confidence was as strong as a cable pulling up a large anchor.

Why was he so confident that these believers would go on to Christian maturity and not give up on Christ? I think for two reasons. 1. God would not forget how hard they have worked for Him. I always liked working for someone who appreciated my work. Work becomes more of a joy rather than a drudgery when someone appreciates you. Regardless of whether what you do for the Lord for others is appreciated by them or not, keep doing good because the Father will reward you. That is mature Christian living.

Matthew 6:2–4 (NLT) — 2 When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3 But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

2 Corinthians 9:9 (NLT) — 9 As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”

1 Corinthians 15:58 (NLT) — 58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

The second reason the writer is confident that they will go on to maturity is their hope. Hope that God will come through with his promises not matter how long it takes. Lack of hope always causes people to despair and give up when they don’t see the rewards right away. As long as hope is alive they will not become spiritually dull or sluggish. But hope, as our verses indicate, lead them to mimic the faith and endurance of those who have gone on before them and inherited the promises of God.

That word endurance is an interesting word. In the Greek it is the word >  makrothumia (makro, “large”; thumia, “emotions” or “passions”). L.H. Evans Jr. says, “It could be translated “large emotions,” signifying wells of endurance that will not dry up, no matter how much is drawn from them. The Christian with this patience will have refreshing water to sustain continual effectiveness even in the face of unrelenting pressures. Those with such patience and faith are those who receive or “inherit the promises.”

Then the writer goes on to give the example of Abraham who waited patiently(25 years) for God to give him a son. Abraham had a well of endurance that never ran dry no matter how many times he had to draw from it.

Do you have a well of endurance like that? Would you like to have a well like that? How did Abraham get a well like that? Well God likens his word to rain >

Deuteronomy 32:1–2 (NLT) — 1 “Listen, O heavens, and I will speak! Hear, O earth, the words that I say! 2 Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew. Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants.

So we stay in the word and keep believing it and it becomes the rain that waters our endurance and fills our wells.

Proverbs 4:4 (NLT) — 4 My father taught me, “Take my words to heart. Follow my commands, and you will live.

Abraham took God’s words to heart and his endurance remained alive >

Romans 4:20–21 (NLT) — 20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.

Ezekiel 3:10 (NLT) — 10 Then he added, “Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself.

We are the Church. Let us not be those who give up on Christ and his mission. Remember that the Father does reward those who live for him and He does give what he promised to those who faithfully endure.

Be Inspired Hilltop!