Have you ever committed to eating better, exercising, waking up early, a new resolution only to slowly fade back to your old ways? Maybe you started strong, you felt good about your new routine but over time the ways of old creeped back up?
It has taken me many attempts and time to finally make exercising a routine. I have had many times of failure and return to old ways (sleeping in). Don’t even get me started on eating healthy. I might make a commitment to myself every month to eat healthier, salads daily, all organic, superfoods (I still don't know exactly what that is, but I know its good for you). And then I return to my norm, tacos, curry, hamburgers, french fries (dude, I could go for some fries right now!).
The point though is that we all know things about us that we want to improve but actually doing them is another thing. In Hebrews there was a similar issue, this book was written to an audience that considered themselves Christian's. But they were beginning to creep back to their old ways, Judaism (the old covenant).
They were comfortable with their old lifestyle (action based), they knew how to live within the regulations of the old covenant. But this new covenant meant a new lifestyle, and we all know a new lifestyle is a difficult thing to do when we are comfortable or stuck in our normal actions.
NEW COVENANT = NEW YOU
God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it. (Hebrews 4:1)
The writer explains that this is a BIG issue. That recognizing the grace of Jesus is the pinnacle of salvation. That those ready to slip back to their old ways may fail to experience the rest that only God promises through Jesus.
Have you recognized Jesus but begun to fall back to your old ways? Your past lifestyle continues to appear in your new life? It’s difficult. Our past routines are hard to break. But remember this, When you received the amazing grace of Jesus your old life, your old routines, your past actions have been buried. And you have been raised in new life! You are filled with the Holy Spirit and are a new creation. And that means new routines.
Maybe you need to stop some of your weekend activities? Maybe you need to start meeting with other Christian's to grow in your walk? Serving the Church and your community alongside other believers.
Please don’t read this and assume that you should stop all relationships with those that do not believe. I most definitely do not believe that. We should be a light to the world and people around us. But you must first make sure you are strong in your new identity.
We should be a light to the world and people around us. But we must first make sure we are strong in our new identity.
For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God. (Hebrews 4:2)
The people that read this letter illustrate a problem within our context as well. They knew a great deal about Christ, but they do not know him personally. They haven’t combined their knowledge with faith. Have you gained knowledge from the Bible but your actions continue to remain the same?
Let the Good News about Christ benefit your life. Believe in Him and then act on what you know.
Let us not be a generation that has learned of the amazing grace of Jesus, but experiences a slow creep back to our old ways.
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