November 11 - The Perseverance of Faith
It is essential for every Christian to finish well. The enemy is ever attacking us so as to take away our sure confidence of our faith. The writer of the Book of Hebrews reminded the readers of their persecutions and hardships subsequent to their being enlightened. Sufferings and afflictions were the order of the day but they joyfully accepted these for they knew that they had a better and a more abiding possession. The author then once again reminded his readers not to throw away their confidence that has a great reward when Christ comes back in yet a little while.
In order not to shrink back and be destroyed, we must guard our faith. The first key is to go into God’s presence, to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus through the veil (His broken body). There is no replacement for our direct line to the Father and mere head knowledge about God would not carry us through. Drawing near to God with a true heart in full assurance of faith can only be secured by washing our conscience and bodies with pure water. The cleansing flow of the blood of Christ comes to us through the Spirit and the Word, convicting us of sins that separate us from the presence of God. Only by the power of the blood through our confession of sins can we approach the throne of God. This is our first priority.
All activities in the community of faith are to offer support to one another in our entering into the holy place, the house of God. Jesus calls His house a house of prayer for all the nations. When we individually have full access to God, we may then stir up one another to love and good works. As we meet together, we are to encourage one another toward the life of faith by avoiding the pitfalls of sin and go on the lighted path of love and good works. Every meeting or activity of the church must have the goal of stirring up faith and confessing sins. Prayer is central and essential as we hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering.
One thing we must guard against in our Christian communities is the deliberate sins among the body of Christ. Knowing what is right but acting contrarily is not only hypocritical but also may incur the wrath of God. There would not be any sacrifice remaining for such sins of deliberation. Even the Old Testament sacrificial system had no provision for such kind of sins. When we sin deliberately, we profane the blood of the Son and outrage the Spirit of Grace, thereby invoking vengeance and judgment from God. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Are you shrinking behind or moving forward in your faith? Do you go beyond the veil before the presence of the Father each day? Do you have a healthy fear of God and refrain from every deliberate sin? Are the activities of your church bringing each other closer to God and His presence?
Ps 119:161-168 Ezek 23:1-49 Heb 10:18-39 Prov 27:13