Hebrews 4:1-13 – September 5
The Bible is basically a compilation of love letters from our Father in heaven, His loving words breathed onto each page. Over the next several months, as we study the letters of the Bible, Galatians through Jude, I pray that You will experience His eternal love in new ways and that it will transform you. These letters were written by Christian leaders, most of them by Paul, to establish and grow the Christian Church. For us, they are filled with love and gold nuggets on living a Christian life. Join along in our study by reading today’s scripture, journaling on it using SOAP, then sharing how God spoke to you today. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that is a SOAP from one of our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.
Hebrews 4:1-13 – A Sabbath-Rest for the People of God
4 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
“So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’”
And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.” 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”
6 Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, 7 God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
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.
So That No One Will Perish | Becky Newman
Today’s reading reminds me of my college philosophy class, so many layers to pick apart and keep straight. “Rest” here pretty much refers to heaven, as the author explains it’s where God went on the 7th day of the creation story. The example of disobedience referenced here is the Israelites whose hearts were hardened and who were not allowed by God to enter the Promised Land because of their lack of faith. We are again faced with this decision: have faith and find rest in heaven or lack faith and fall short of the gates? I believe that the author is speaking to Christian believers, so when he says “let us make every effort to enter that rest”, he does not mean that good works will get us there but that we should be servants of God along the way as part of our being made holy (sanctification) to enter into the presence of God, His rest, in heaven.
Ugh, this season is hard. Just had a good cry about it. But this is too important to not make every effort, even though it’s hard. My heart is the same as the author’s — so that NO ONE will perish! That’s Your heart.
You gave me a song to sing today: “My heart is Yours, my heart is Yours, take it all, take it all, my life in Your hands” (Chris Tomlin’s “Take It All”). Even when it’s hard, help me to make every effort so that no one will perish. Lord, soften my son’s heart to receive You, to overcome, to fill his heart with You. Open his eyes to Your Truth.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.