Hello! I hope that you are doing well, and that this Update finds you healthy and happy. We always need to remember what a blessing those days are, because there are always going to be all of those other days that aren’t so healthy or so happy.
Please keep Ken Peryam in your prayers, as he convalesces from his fall last week -- he fell about ten feet off of a ladder onto some concrete, and he broke his leg pretty badly. He came through surgery okay, but he’s going to have to stay off of his leg completely for the next 12 weeks. If you know Ken at all, you can only imagine how difficult that’s going to be for him...
I’d also appreciate your prayers for a few people that I know personally, outside of our church family. My Uncle Bill had what appeared to be a cardiac “episode” last week that landed him in the hospital for a few days, but he is doing okay now and went home this past weekend. My sister-in-law’s mom just found out that her breast cancer has returned, and will be going in for some important tests on Monday. And my pastor growing up -- Milo Nussbaum -- had a severe heart attack last week, and though he is stable now, they’re still trying to assess the extent of any brain damage that may have occurred while his heart was stopped.
In our message, we talked about the next part of our “Lettuce Patch” in the book of Hebrews. If you’ll remember, in the four verses of Hebrews 10:22-25, the writer gives us a succession of “let us” commands in rapid succession -- and any time that a Biblical writer concludes a section with a clump of repeated, “We all need to do X” commands, it’s worth sitting up and taking notice.
So the second “lettuce” command says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (in Hebrews 10:23). Much like the similar sections in Hebrews 3:6, or 3:12-14, this simple verse has three key elements to it:
1) Hold onto your hope. Don’t just try to hold onto it -- hold onto it. An addict can’t just try not to use drugs -- they need to stop using or not. You can’t just try to work on your marriage -- you need to work on it or not. God never asks you to try to live your life like a Christian -- you need to live like a child of God or not. Do or don’t do, there is no “try” in Christianity.
2) Remember that you’re only holding onto what God has already done all of the “heavy lifting” for. He created the process of salvation, He created you to be part of it, He opened the way for you to be part of it, He called you personally to be part of it, He daily enables and equips you to be part of it, and He holds onto you -- and He is faithful. All that we need to do is to hold on in return.
3) But the original grammar of the verse says that what you’re really supposed to be holding unswervingly to is your profession of faith. No matter what happens in life, make sure that you keep actively living like an ambassador for the Kingdom of God. Think about your words, and how they can actively, consciously lift God to people, and lift people up to God...