Hebrews 6 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“For G_d is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you showed His name when you served the saints – and you will continue to serve them. Now we want each of you to demonstrate the same diligence for the final realization of your hope, so that you won’t become lazy, but imitators of those who inherit the promises through faith and perseverance.” Heb 6:10-12
When my grandfather died, he left my mother some property in rural Arkansas. We were all excited! I recall driving down a maze of dirt roads to view her “estate”. What we found was 30 acres of dense forest, swallowing some rickety old shack. My mom just shook her head and said, “Not worth it.” We drove away. To my knowledge, nothing has ever done with that land.
Sometimes, dreams and reality collide with damaging consequences. Seldom are we told that we will have to work hard at things we’ve been given. When this reality sets-in, people often lose interest.
This was the case with Israel, after they entered the Promised Land. G_d had sworn to deliver them, and He was faithful in His Word. But once Israel crossed over, it was their job to “dispossess the land’s former inhabitants.” This too, G_d promised would be completed if Israel would boldly go-forth, trusting Him as before, to drive out their enemies. He intended to use their hard work, empowered by his Spirit, to accomplish His purposes.
Some of the tribes fought and drove out the former inhabitants. Others compromised and made their enemies slaves. Still, others cowered, so they never took hold of what G_d had promised.
The author of Hebrews (scholars cannot agree on its author) was drawing a parallel of the deliverance of Moses-era Israel, with salvation through Messiah, Yeshua. While we are saved by grace apart from works, once we have been delivered we must bear the armor of G_d and dispossess the former enemies (attitudes, influences, thoughts & actions) that once controlled our lives.
Our command to fight doesn’t diminish G_d’s grace. The L_rd still delivers us, but under the condition that we remain vigilant and diligent. Think of it this way: G_d gives us a limited participation in things He doesn’t need us to do, in order to accomplish His will. He simply loves us, and has chosen to show Himself faithful, through our faithfulness.
Let’s strive to be imitators of those “who inherit the promises, through faith and perseverance.” Again, we are not saved by faith & works. Rather, by faith that works.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Friday, November 15, 2013