Episode #208. Today we’ll read Hebrews chapter 4 together: Here we read about the Promised Rest waiting for those of us who believe in our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #208. Today we’ll read Hebrews chapter 4 together: Here we read about the Promised Rest waiting for those of us who believe in our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
I spent the morning with our church Treasurer, Shirley, as I have been for several weeks. I have known this woman for many years. She and her late husband have been pillars in our small community forever and owned the only general store we had in DP before they retired. I think I fell in love with them both when they hired my youngest daughter. They instilled in her good work habits that she still refers to today. They generously awarded her a scholarship for the UC where she attended. That meant a lot to me as a mom and it’s a joy to be able to work now with her as Assistant Treasurer.
We are abundantly blessed at our church. Just about the time we’re wondering what our church would do without a certain person in a certain position, that person has to leave and the sister or brother who fills the empty place is obviously planted there by God. As we all know, the church secretary is the cog that makes our church wheel go ‘round. And we have been blessed not with one, but three over the years that I’ve been there. Likewise, three dedicated couples have blessed the youth of our community, shepherding them as God grows them into Godly adults.
Heck, our Head of Facilities, our leader of the Food Ministry, and our excellent Head Deacon – all men of integrity and faithfulness. Myriad individuals step forward to get a job done. They consent to serving on the Board, they come together to make Vacation Bible School happen, and are always lining up to support the latest fund-raising event. And this group of country Baptists do it with style. No grumbling, no complaining, but high energy and no holds barred.
I have to admit, I could easily fill a page singing the praises of my little church family. I had heard that term before but prior to 2003, I didn’t really know what it was, or at least I hadn’t experienced it. I’m sure that had as much to do with me as anything. Maybe my previous churches were great church families too…maybe I just wasn’t ready to be part of one. But when God planted Mitch and I at Lake Don Pedro Baptist, He started a work in both of us that is still growing strong.
I would love to hear about your church family too, at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Hebrews Chapter 4
The Promised Rest
Therefore, since the promise to enter his rest remains, let us beware that none of you be found to have fallen short. For we also have received the good news just as they did. But the message they heard did not benefit them, since they were not united with those who heard it in faith. For we who have believed enter the rest, in keeping with what he has said,
So I swore in my anger,
“They will not enter my rest,”
even though his works have been finished since the foundation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in this way: And on the seventh day God rested from all his works. Again, in that passage he says, They will never enter my rest. Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news did not enter because of disobedience, he again specifies a certain day — today. He specified this speaking through David after such a long time:
Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.
Enter That Rest
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for God’s people. For the person who has entered his rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from his. Let us, then, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.
For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. No creature is hidden from him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.
Our Great High Priest
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens — Jesus the Son of God — let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.
Oh my goodness! Where do I start? This is one of those chapters that has several familiar verses. It reads like a scripture hit parade!
It thrills me to read of God’s Sabbath rest. And we get to enter in, if we do not rebel but believe. NOT because of anything we did, but through the atoning sacrifice of the God-Man, Jesus Christ. We will read the story of creation in January, but for now, let’s think about God resting from His work on that seventh day. God did not need to rest but, as example for us, He did. And not only as an example, but because the work was finished. And it was good. How does that apply to our salvation? To the work Christ did for us? According to these words and those in chapter 3, we must not to be found fallen short in our belief.
We Cannot Hide From Him
And apparently it is right here in these words that we will be judged. They are sharp, like the best knife in our kitchen, the one we always reach for because it gets the job done. And just like that sharp knife can separate the meat from the bone, so also God’s word separates our soul and spirit. It judges our thoughts and the intentions of our hearts. We are naked and exposed before Him. We cannot hide from Him. Nor would we want to. But we will give an account.
But we are not left alone as orphans. Not only does Christ love us, but in His humanity, He understands us. Because He has been tempted in every way just like we have. It humbles me. But He has invited us to come boldly before His throne of grace – unearned favor. So that we may obtain mercy and find grace in our times of need. Let’s pray.
Father, we will never tire of thanking You for this indescribable gift. Without it, we would have no hope. Please continue to expose us to Your loving judgement, Lord. Yes, it hurts sometimes, and it’s definitely humiliating, but we know that it draws us closer to You and that You are continuing to do a good work in each of us. Remind us, Holy Spirit, to come constantly and boldly before You for the grace that we need so badly. In Your name we pray, Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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