The Word for This Week

The Word for This Week

     Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near  (Hebrews 10:23-25 NLT).
     The Letter to the Hebrews was written to 1st century Christians of Hebrew lineage who were living in Jerusalem, Judah, and Israel, areas of the Middle East, scattered across the Roman Empire, and beyond.  One of the important purposes was "to bring to the attention of Christians everywhere the preeminence of Jesus Christ" (Schofield Notes).
     In this passage, the emphasis is on holding tightly to our personal experience of salvation and strengthening others in our congregation by demonstrating the reality of our faith.  There were apparently instances where believers were being influenced by those around them to abandon or dilute their participation in the fellowship, possibly both from within and without.  They lived in a time of many beliefs, ongoing social, cultural, political, and religious change and upheaval - much like our own times.
     If we are to find an application for ourselves from this passage of Scripture it must be the encouragement to hold fast to our hope, consider how to encourage our fellow members, and to do so by regularly gathering with them.  Writers have observed that this message is not about what a believer gets from the assembly, but rather what he/she can contribute to it.  We are prone to forget sometimes that our presence in the congregation strengthens others who need encouragement, having been battered by the cares of the world all week.

 

Pastor Joe
 

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