Monthly Archives: November 2015

Hebrews & Us – Part 5

Today is a day where I would rather not write a post, as the post that I need to write is probably not one which people would like to read. It is one of those uncomfortable ones. I need to be obedient, and I am working through Hebrews, so I will write this post. I encourage you to read it and see the positive in it. Here goes.

Here is Hebrews 4:11 – 14. There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognise the difference between right and wrong. Ouch. Does this apply to you?

There are so many Christians who fall into this category, many of whom fail to recognise that they are even it in. What I find interesting is what the passage determines as the difference between a mature Christian and a ‘baby’, recognising the difference between right and wrong. I have had a person who has been a Christian for longer than I have, casually mention that they were going to a fortune teller. Really? Now this is just an example, but have you been a Christian for a long time, yet you still don’t really know what is right and wrong? Do you still rely on others to walk you through everything, even though you have been a believer longer than they have? It is time to get yourself organised. Let me explain why.

We are now well into the end times. Look what is happening in Syria, then have a look at what the Bible has to say about Damascus in the end days. We’re in it, make no mistake. The Bible also says that the harvest is ripe for the harvesters. Even though it appears that Christianity is on the decline, let me assure you that ‘true’ Christianity is on the rise. If you’re in a dead church that is not growing, maybe you need to ask yourself why, but that is for another discussion. If you are in a growing, vibrant, Holy Spirit led church, people are ready to be harvested. Now think about it, if your church were to double in size with new believers, who would step up to the plate? Who would lead all of the new life-groups? You would need more leaders. Are you ready? You may already be a leader, you may not be, but this is a question for all of you who are not leaders, but have been believers for a while. Are you ready to take on a leadership role? Are you ready to be responsible? Do you know the difference between right and wrong? The new people can’t lead, and if you can’t either, you just heap more pressure on those already leading.

So here is the bottom line. ALL mature believers will need to be leading others when the harvest arrives. Are you ready? If not, what are you doing about it? Now this may be harsh, but it is a reality. You can either right me a nasty email telling me that I am wrong, or you can take it on the chin and prepare yourself. This is something that I am also dealing with, some of you have assumed that I am a pastor, I am not. I don’t even lead a life-group. Yet. I am preparing myself to do just that, and I wanted to encourage you to do the same. We can’t keep draining the leader’s resources with our immaturity, me need to become leaders ourselves in order to help the newbies. Disciples training disciples.

If you think that this week’s post was controversial or upsetting, you may not want to read next week’s. Take a sneak peek of Hebrews 6 and brace yourselves!

Until next week.

Richard

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Hebrews & Us – Part 4

Hebrews chapter 4 is an interesting read, and quite relevant for me right now. I would like to look at this chapter from 2 points of view. Firstly from the point of view of someone who is not saved, and then from someone who is. I think that there are two lessons here, one for each group of people.

God’s rest. What does that mean? Well after reading the passage, a few notes in my study bible, and finding a few related websites, I believe it comes down to two related things. Firstly it comes down to salvation. This is where you need to start if you are not yet saved. God promised the Israelites rest, yet they disobeyed Him and never actually made it to the promised land. People today are in the same situation. We have the promise of God to find rest, and that rest is in Jesus. It sounds really cheesy I know, that Jesus is our rest, but it is true. If you don’t know this love of Jesus, I suggest that you talk to someone about it. There is something missing in your life, and the more you try to find it, the more you desire it. We are made to have a relationship with God, and without Jesus, we can’t do that. You will never fill that emptiness without Jesus.

The second rest that I believe this is talking about is for believers. It is the same rest as the first one, but we don’t always feel this rest just because we have given our lives to Jesus. Why not? Well, to sum it up in one word. Faith. Take a look at verse 2. 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. Let me tell you a brief story to illustrate my point. There was a man at my church, whose wife had a stroke. The pastor shared about it and asked the man if he was alright to come up and share what had happened, and let us know what we should pray for. I will never forget his response. He said that he was fine to come and share, because the stroke was from the enemy, not from God. He said that she would receive complete healing as Jesus had died for our sins, and by His stripes we were healed. He said that we could stand with him in believing for complete healing. Needless to say, his wife was released from hospital early, after the doctors were confused as to how she made such a quick and complete recovery. Now you may argue with this guy’s theology (in which case you disagree with me too as I share his beliefs), but you can’t argue with his faith. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God. It comes from knowing what the Bible says, and believing that over and above what your circumstances dictate.

My pastor said that God was making me into a man of faith. At first I was excited, but then I realised what that meant. I needed to stand in the Word of God, removing unbelief, and ignoring my circumstances. Let me tell you, this is not easy. The chances of us coming up against some kind of hardship or trial is pretty much guaranteed. The question is how do we deal with it. Do we believe what the world tells us? Do we give up and believe that things will go the same way that our circumstances dictate? Or do we stubbornly believe the Word of God? The man that I told you about, he experienced a time of rest. The whole time his wife was ill, he was in a time of rest. Why? He knew the Word of God, he trusted in it, and he saw the outcome that he was believing for. If he didn’t know God’s Word, he would probably have panicked. He may have broken down at the thought of losing his wife. Would that have been a time of rest? Certainly not!

So often, myself included, we look to our circumstances changing in order to count as rest. I now believe that it is our faith in these times that determine our rest, more so than the times themselves. Read the Word, build your faith, remove all unbelief. This is what we need to do to believe in the Word of God, only then will we find the rest that we so desire. I’m not saying that we won’t see the troubles go away, I hope that we do, I’m just saying that we can have rest even in the troubles. Besides, we have more chance of seeing the troubles go away with faith than without.

Until next time.

Richard