Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23 - The Heavenly Calling

Today's Reading:
Job 4:1-7:21
Hebrews 3:1-19
Psalm 120:1-7
Click on Texts to Read Online

Focus Verses:
Hebrews 3:1, 12-14

1 Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. … 12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

The writer of Hebrews encourages his Christian readers to fix their thoughts on Jesus, and to hold firmly to him in faith to the end. He warns them to not turn away from faith in the living God, and uses the story of the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness to illustrate his point. Their bodies fell in the desert, and they never entered into the promise land because of their unbelief.

Response & Action:
More than a mere warning, the Hebrew writer suggests two things I can do to cultivate enduring faith. 1) I must focus on Jesus. I should immerse myself in everything the scriptures tell me about Jesus -- his words, his actions, his promises, his mission, his teaching, his commands, his example, and his call to me. 2) I must be part of a Christian community that encourages and admonishes me in faith. I should seize every opportunity to stimulate and inspire others toward a deeper knowledge and experience of Christ. In my circle of Christian friends, we should be able to help each other identify and turn away from the deceitfulness of sin.

O God, you are my God, and I will ever praise you. I will seek you in the morning. I will learn to walk in your ways. Lead me step by step that I might follow you all of my days. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: 1 John 1:5-75 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
The Incomparable Christ
by John Stott

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