|Posted on August 13, 2019 at 2:25 PM|
The writer of Hebrews provides us with a snapshot of the lifestyle of grace in the following verses, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10: 19-25)
Using language that was well understood by the Jews of his day the writer summarizes all that God has done for us in Christ to meet our most basic needs for personal worth (i.e. love and respect). He tells us that we now have the confidence to enter the very presence of God and “draw near” to him. We have the privilege to enter a personal relationship with the One who runs the world in all respects and get to know him personally as our loving Father! We are no longer outsiders, but insiders. We are welcome in the Father’s kingdom.
Based on our new standing before God we are encouraged to “hold on to the hope we profess” which simply means to live our daily lives expecting the best in all situations. Hope is not to be confused with “wishful thinking” or clinging to some fantasy, but a joyful and confident expectation about our own future. We may never see how things will work out for our best, but we can know for sure that they will. No matter how dark the situation or circumstance may be, the glorious light of the gospel assures us that we can never lose. Why? Because “he who promised is faithful”!
Because of whom we are and our promised victory, we are finally encouraged to “consider how we may spur one another on to love and good deeds”. Our needs being met in God’s love allows us the freedom to consider others rather than just worry about ourselves. Specifically, we are able to consider how we may encourage them in love and good deeds. The ultimate question in our lives is no longer “who am I and why am I here”, but “who can I love and how can I do it”. We are no longer self-centered “takers” scrambling everyday to “get ahead” but loving “givers” who are constantly looking for another way to help others around us. Rather than withdraw and isolate from people we seek opportunities to minister to them in our everyday relationships.
The lifestyle of grace is motivated by faith, hope, and love. Our faith in Jesus meeting our needs daily produces a genuine hope that anchors our soul and allows the love of God to flourish in our own lives so that it spills over into the lives of those around us. It is a continual flow of divine love from the Father to us and on to others. To the extent that we realize we can never lose because of God’s love for us, we are able to have compassion for others. Being convinced God loves us we are set free from the natural self-absorbed lifestyle of “loving things and using people” to use things to love people. Beloved, let us love one another.