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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Connecting Truth to Life (Hebrews 12:15)

"Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name."

Like a string of pearls the writer of Hebrews connects one truth with another and inserts "Let us" instructions along the way demonstrating that truth must be lived out--acted upon. Truth demands a response.

After he establishes the superiority of Jesus as High Priest over that of Moses and the inability of the children of Israel to enter into the land of promise due to unbelief and disobedience, he exhorts believers with five "Let us" statements:
  • Let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short . . . (4:1)
  • Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest . . . (4:11)
  • Let us hold firmly to the faith we profess . . . (4:14)
  • Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence . . . (4:16)
  • Let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity . . . (6:1)
The writer then uses Abraham's relationship with Melchizedek to teach the superiority of Jesus Christ as High Priest and he demonstrates the superiority of the heavenly tabernacle and its service over that of the earthly tabernacle. He follows those teachings with five more "Let us" statements:
  • Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart . . . (10:22)
  • Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess . . . (10:23)
  • Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds . . . (10:24)
  • Let us not give up meeting together . . . (10:25)
  • Let us encourage one another . . . (10:25)
The writer then uses the men and women who walked with God from the Old Testament to demonstrate that everyone who has walked with God believed God's promise and walked in faith. That faith was never static, but it promoted the believer to act in faith. He concludes that truth with several more "Let us" statements:
  • Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles . . . (12:1)
  • Let us run with perseverance the race . . . (12:1)
  • Let us fix our eyes on Jesus . . . (12:2)
Finally the writer of Hebrews talks about the coming kingdom which cannot be shaken and the role of suffering and difficulty (until that kingdom comes) as disciplinary tools in the maturation process of believers. And he ends with two more "Let us" statements:
  • Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore . . . (13:13)
  • Let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise . . . (13:15)
Truth cannot be disconnected from life. Truth and life should connect like beads strung together. How connected is your life to truth?

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:

Hebrews 13:1-25
  • How does the final prayer ending this epistle fit with the overall theme of this book?
1 John 1:1-3:24
  • What are the implications of the statement "God is light" in the lives of those professing to have fellowship with the Father?
  • How can someone really know that he knows Christ?
  • Make two columns and make a list of the contrasts found in 1 John .
  • Make a list of the "by this we know", "if we know"; and "you know" statements.
  • What is a believer's relationship with the world's system?
  • How does John describe the Father's love?
  • What takes place in a believer that makes it difficult/impossible to live in a lifestyle of sin? (3:9)
  • How does love manifest itself in life?
  • How do believers know that He lives in us?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to help you to both know the truth and walk out the truth in your life.