not neglecting to meet together

Hebrews 10:25 (ESV)

25 … not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Given how busy our lives can be it’s not surprising that we fall into the trap of neglecting to meet together.

Work. Sport. Friends. Family.

All these commitments pull us in different directions.

Yet the writer is adamant that the recipients of this letter should NOT succumb to this bad “habit”.

If one of the acts of meeting together is to “encourage one another” then this is especially difficult to do when we rarely see each other.

And it’s an excellent reason to also be a member of a small mid-week fellowship group, rather than just the bigger church family that meets on weekends, so we can get to know “one another” better.

I know I miss meeting regularly whilst I’m living overseas and look forward to seeing my church family again.


prayer : help me to be diligent in meeting with my brothers and sisters in Christ on a weekly basis, seeking ways to “encourage” them in their faith

action : try to attend church every Sunday and our small group every Wednesday

stir up one another to love and good works

Hebrews 10:24 (ESV)

24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, …

Our faith is not one of idleness and seclusion. As if we can live in isolation, separate from other believers.

Paul extols us to consider how to stir up one another. To thoughtfully ponder (the consider) and then enthusiastically encourage (the stir up).

This suggests that there’s no easy, simple prescription. It requires prayerful deliberation.

Each and every saint has a combination of gifts and a personality unique to them.

Yet they’re to be used to the same end: namely, love and good works.

Yes, it’s a challenge: How? Where? And when to use our gifts?

But we’re not alone.

We have our brothers and sisters in Christ helping us to think it through.

And the Holy Spirit guiding us in our decision making (1 Corinthians 12:7ff).


prayer : help me to better stir up my brothers and sisters in Christ

action : email or SMS a different fellow believer each day with a word of encouragement

he who promised is faithful

Hebrews 10:23 (ESV)

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

If we “confess” Christ to be our Lord and Saviour, our living “hope”, then we need to “hold fast” to that belief.

Our day-to-day lives do distract us.

We worry about all our concerns (Matthew 6:25).

We’re easily lured by the false “promises” associated with the pursuit of “riches” (Luke 18:14ff).

We’re all too easily “deceived”. Dragged away from our maker.

Ignoring the very Author of life (Acts 3:15).

What’s more, Satan will purposely “tempt” us as He did Jesus (Mark 1:13).

Yet through all this God remains faithful (Isaiah 49:7).

Despite our selfish behaviour. And in spite of our repeated forgetting about Him.

For nothing can “separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:39).


prayer : help me to not be distracted by the concerns and pleasures of life

action : “hold fast”

in full assurance of faith

Hebrews 10:21-22 (ESV)

21 … and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

As believers we can approach the throne of God secure not in our own “righteousness” but in the “righteousness” that comes from through “faith in Christ” (Philippians 3:9).

For His blood has made us “new”. We are “created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).

His blood has removed any stain or “blemish” of sin, making our hearts “clean” in the sight of God (Philippians 2:15).

His blood has “washed” us and cleansed us.

Thus we can rest assured upon God’s “promise” to us: the “promise [that rests] on grace” (Galatians 3:22, Romans 4:16).


prayer : thank you for the gift of faith

action : “draw near” to God every day, thanking Him and asking Him to do His “will” (Matthew 6:10)

by the new and living way

Hebrews 10:20 (ESV)

20 … by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, …

Jesus describes Himself both as “the door” and “the way” (John 10:9 & 14:6 respectively in John’s gospel).

The new and living way to God.

For Jesus is quite adamant that there is no other way.

Only “through [Him]” can we “come to the Father” (John 14:6).

But this should be good news. For we “are no longer strangers and aliens, but [we] are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19).

It’s like a homecoming. A return to the family after a long trip abroad. And don’t I know that!


prayer : thank you Jesus that you are “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6)

action : although I live in this world, act as though I am a citizen “of heaven” (Philippians 3:20)

we have confidence

Hebrews 10:19 (ESV)

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, …

What a wonderful privilege it is to be able to “draw near to the throne of grace” with confidence (Hebrews 4:16).

Knowing that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ – our “great high priest” – has made it all possible (Hebrews 4:14).


“By the blood”, His blood, shed for us on the cross.

“For our sake [God] made him to be sin who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Thus we can approach our awesome God, through Christ, and fall “at His feet” in worship (Revelation 1:17).

We can give to Him our worries and concerns. Our troubles and our cares.


prayer : thank you for the gift of confidence

action : give to God all my burdens

by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption

Hebrews 9:12 (ESV)

12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.

The system of sacrifice was well established in ancient Israel as outlined in the Book of Leviticus.

Basically, a sacrifice was needed to pay for sin. Sin couldn’t go unpunished.

Sin, in a nutshell, is not just what we do wrong. It’s what separates us from God. It’s essentially us turning our back on God and wanting to live our lives our own way.

Thus the priests performed their duties on a regular basis as no one sacrifice could pay for “all” of Israel’s sin going forward. It needed to be done again and again and again.

However, Jesus became the sacrifice “once for all”.

He ushered in a “new covenant” (Hebrews 9:15). A new arrangement or deal between man and God.

For Jesus Christ paid the ultimate “price” (1 Corinthians 6:20).

And this was possible because God the Father “made him to be sin who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

He was like “a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:19).

Thus Jesus shed His own “blood.” (Hebrews 10:19).

“[Cleansing] us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

And all this was done to secure for us an eternal redemption.


prayer : thank you for your sacrifice on the cross in our place

action : repent of my own sinfulness knowing God will forgive me