12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

It might be possible to read Hebrews 4 and feel a little discouraged, when we consider how possible it is to fall short of fully entering into our inheritance in Christ. But although there is a clear warning running throughout this chapter, this is balanced with great encouragements. We can ‘keep on keeping on.’ How? We should:

  • Submit to the scalpel (12,13): As God’s Word exposes sin, it will be painful. But if we surrender to the work of the loving Divine Surgeon we will be able to maintain (or regain) spiritual health. As the Bible exposes dark areas of our interior world let’s be quick to repent. Keep ‘short accounts’ with God;
  • Hold firmly to the faith (14): In a day when many professing believers are edging towards the shifting sands of liberal theology (and some have already pitched their tents there), determine to stay on ‘the Rock’. It is our only place of safety. On the stormy days to come, the sandy foundation will prove hopelessly inadequate;
  • Cling to our Priest (15): to Jesus the ”great high priest”. He is fully conversant with our human experience – including our temptations. The only thing He doesn’t share, thankfully, is our experience of sin. If He did, He wouldn’t be able to act for us in Heaven. But as the sinless One He totally meets our needs – and He can empathise like no other;
  • Come boldly to the Throne (16): Whatever the need, there is help from on High.

PRAYER: Lord God, help me to avail myself of all the resources I have in you to live this Christian life.