From Consumer to Contributor - Part 4

OPENING PRAYER:

Faithful Counselor, as I, an unfinished work, sit before the Word of Life, open my heart and mind to receive all you would show me today.  Let me be changed by the time we spend together. Amen

 

READ:  Hebrews 10:20-22a and 23-25

By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.  And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him…….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.

 

REFLECT:

Today’s reading lays out a picture of the incredible new life we have with God.  Through his death, Jesus forged an opening for us to enter the very presence of God.  He opened the door to God’s house for anyone who would fully trust and step over the threshold.

Because of what Jesus did, God is looking for two responses from us.  The first is to “hold tightly to the hope we affirm”. We are to meet each day from the perspective of hope.  God is looking for unwavering hope regardless of what the world around us says. Our hope is based on the trustworthy promises of God.

The second anticipated response moves this hope beyond us and into the lives of our fellow believers.  We are not called to some passive, feel-good mantra.  Nor are we to hoard this hope.  Instead, hope is to flow through us stirring those around us to do likewise. The vehicle that carries our “God hope” forward is acts of love and service.

When the church comes together for worship and fellowship, our presence is an act of encouragement.  Finding a place of ministry and service within the community of believers is “good work”. The writer tells us we are to be intentional and “think of ways to motivate one another”.  Our natural bent is to sit back and let it be all about us.  But we are no longer “natural”.  We are divinely charged to live a life of hope that overflows to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

APPLY:

Do you guard the time for gathering to worship God each week? Do you refuse to allow the world to infringe upon your presence there? Have you found a way to volunteer at your campus? Have you found community in a Home Team? The writer of Hebrews urges each of us not to neglect meeting together and to spur others on to good works by example.

 

CLOSING PRAYER:

Lord, I am overwhelmed by the thought that you have made a way for me to enter into the very presence of God.  Holy Spirit, I ask you to stir my heart to value and preserve being in worship each week. Help me love and encourage others through service within your church. Amen.

Terry Schneider