For the audio Podcast of this and every episode, find us on Breaker, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify or HERE
If you’d like to join us in our journey reading all the way through the Bible this year, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be glad to email back a copy of the reading plan we are using.
It is the Author’s observation in Hebrews 3:7-5:10, that sin is so deceitful, and hardens the heart against the sweet motions of the Spirit so quickly, that we need daily exhortations to guard against it.
One doesn’t need to put butter in a blast chiller to get it to harden; they only need to remove it from any heat source. Just leave it alone.
This is how our souls are.
And that’s our topic today on Through the Word in 2020.
The other passages before us today are Psalm 119:105–112; Song of Solomon 5:2–8:7; Luke 16:18–31 and Proverbs 17. But it is the Hebrews portion that grabs my attention most this morning.
There is an inertia to our remaining sinfulness. Even nature teaches us that a “body at rest tends to stay at rest”. If it is not moved – it will not move. Simply left to themselves, not brought near to the flame, our hearts congeal and harden without any further influence. Time in the Word, time in prayer, exposing ourselves to spiritual matters from reliable sources which bring us before the throne of grace again to warm our hearts is a constant need; not some mere, perfunctory religious duty.
Beloved, find some time today, some place, to bring your heart near the flame of Christ’s loving grace and mercy so as to melt you afresh. It takes only the shortest amount of time for the hardness to begin settling in – for sin to deceive us that something else is more important, more necessary.
Sin deceives me into thinking I don’t need to intentionally engage my soul for Christ each day. The example of how the lampstand in the Tabernacle needed trimmed by the priests twice a day is a graphic lesson. Left alone, the flame would go out.
Sin deceives me into thinking some sins can be left alone and go unchallenged. They aren’t big enough to worry about.
Sin deceives me into thinking I can thrive as a Christian neglecting the Word, prayer, worship intentional obedience to Christ and blessing others.
Sin deceives me into excusing attitudes and actions that are contrary to the character of Christ as OK. That harshness, unkind words, slander, name-calling and constant complaining are just fine and dandy.
The text says to exhort one another every day while we are here in this regard.Consider this my attempt to exhort you. And if you can, encourage and challenge someone else to beware the deceitful and hardening tendency of indwelling sin. And if no one else – exhort yourself.
Beloved, don’t let the day go without some time spent drawing near to the throne of grace. Warm your own heart with a fresh visit to the Cross.
I am reminded of the strains of Fanny Crosby’s sweet hymn:
1 Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain;
Free to all, a healing stream,
Flows from Calv’ry’s mountain.
Refrain:In the cross, in the cross
Be my glory ever,
Till my ransomed soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
2 Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the Bright and Morning Star
Shed His beams around me. [Refrain]
3 Near the cross! O lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day
With its shadow o’er me. [Refrain]
4 Near the cross! I’ll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever;
Till I reach the golden strand,
Just beyond the river. [Refrain]
Go get near the cross today.
I’m Reid Ferguson, and God willing, we’ll be back Monday.