Encourage one another day after day
Hebrews 3 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; 2 He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. 3 For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. 5 Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; 6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.
7 Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says,
“Today if you hear His voice,
8 Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
9 Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me,
And saw My works for forty years.
10 “Therefore I was angry with this generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they did not know My ways’;
11 As I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’”
12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, 15 while it is said,
“Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.”
16 For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.
In today’s text it says: Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. We are to encourage one another in faith. In Galatians 6:1 Paul says: Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. We are to seek to restore others from sin, from any trespass. Being caught in a trespass or sin, is not to be caught by others in the act of sin, but rather it is to be entangled, trapped by, in bondage to sin and the deceitfulness of sin. There are times in the life of every believer when our faith may waiver. We might question whether we really can have or really deserve all that has been granted to us through Christ and the cross. It is another thing all together to have unbelief. John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Belief focuses on what Jesus did on the cross. Unbelief, not believing what Jesus did, is sin. Revelation 21:8 says: "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Unbelief, not believing in Jesus and what He did on the cross, is a sin. It is as much of a sin as murder, immorality, idolatry and witchcraft. There is a fine line between lacking faith to receive all that Jesus did and all that God has promised, and not believing. When our faith to receive is the issue, we can like the father who brought his son to Jesus, say: “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.(2 Timothy 2:13)
James 1:12-15 says: Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. God does not tempt us with our trials. Look what The writer of Hebrews says as he compares the sin of unbelief to what happened to the nation of Israel when they questioned God. The text says: “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, And saw My works for forty years. “Therefore I was angry with this generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they did not know My ways’; As I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’” God does not tempt or try us, but in unbelief, we try and test God. Ephesians 2:8-9 says: By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. We are saved by grace and fortunately for us, The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Again, in today’s text it says: encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Unbelief is sin which can keep us from eternal life with God. Today I encourage any who do not believe that: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” The deceitfulness of sin and the littleness of our faith can prevent us from entering the rest of God. For those then who believe yet need to be encouraged in their faith, I encourage you with what Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-29: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” May you enter the rest of God, being yoked to Christ. May you experience His mercies which are new every morning and may you know the greatness of His faithfulness.
May the declaration of the rest and peace of the psalmist be your prayer: The Lord is my shepherd, shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen.