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Hebrews 10:19-39 (ESV)
The Full Assurance of Faith
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. 26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; 38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
In what specific ways can you spur another Christian on towards love and good deeds?
Holy Jesus, it is through Your grace that I am saved and made clean. So let me come near to You with a pure heart and confidence that comes from having faith. Keep my heart pure and my conscience free from evil. I hold tightly to the hope that You have given me because You are faithful in Your promise. Lord during this time of angst, anger, uncertainty, and suffering, I fear that the focus is so much on self-preservation that we lose sight of the collective preservation of the greater community. Help me to love and encourage others in Your promise by being thoughtful and to do helpful things that can bring people together in love. Help me overcome the barriers of separation that are keeping me from freely serving others by finding ways to shine Your light of hope and step out of my comfort zone. Lord protect me and the church from getting out of the habit of meeting for worship. Let us instead take every opportunity to come together, even if initially it is in cars, or outside, or in modified ways in the sanctuary, knowing that together we are a community unified in You. A burning piece of coal on its own has nothing to sustain it and it eventually goes out but when together with others they all burn hot and glow brightly. By gathering together we see that it’s not about me, that I am not alone. Together, we can encourage each other, lift each other up, and fan the embers of faith that will help us all endure the unrest and the unknown future. Help me to be brave and encourage others to trust in You. Together we can be creative in finding ways to actively worship and serve You and those who are really hurting right now. Take my eyes off of myself and instead focus on actively helping others through Your strength. Help me to help others trust You. You are the God over all things, You are in control, You are greater than a virus, You are greater than hate, You are greater than fear. I pray for the full assurance of faith and trust in You until You return. Amen