September 18, 2020

Make Today Your Day!

Hebrews 3:12–19

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12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,

  “Today, if you hear his voice,
  do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

Make Today Your Day!



Key Verse | Hebrews 3:13

 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Bio | Linda Green

I'm honored to be journeying with you! I'm Linda Green: wife to hard-working Charles, mom, mom-in-law, "Mimmie," and most importantly, a forgiven and grateful child of God. 

At age seven, I believed in Jesus, but mistakenly transposed my harsh earthly father onto the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3). I finally believe God is good, and my sin and rebellion aren't.

God continues His kindness (Romans 2:4) to this strong-willed manipulator, and teaches me to value submitting to His plan. Serving at Engine Room (Watermark's prayer ministry) is all about what God will do and not about me. Come join us!

Central Truth

Believe.

Obey.

Today.

Devotional | Hebrews 3:12–19

Take the slaves out of Egypt, check. Taking Egypt out of the slaves, umm, no. Except for Joshua and Caleb, the first generation of Israelites led by Moses had to die in the desert. No Promised Land, no rest....

Take the slaves out of Egypt, check. Taking Egypt out of the slaves, umm, no. Except for Joshua and Caleb, the first generation of Israelites led by Moses had to die in the desert. No Promised Land, no rest.

It is possible to say "no" to God one too many times. Though He is incredibly patient and wants all to know Him (2 Peter 3:9), some of God's offers are time-sensitive.

These verses remind us to encourage one another every day, to believe and obey our Good Father. This is not always a fun task when someone like me is determined to go her own way. 

What leads us away from God? It always starts with unbelief (Hebrews 3:12). More sin then follows, our heart hardens toward God, and we are in dangerous territory. Note to self: I can choose the sin, but not the consequences. 

Discontent has been my default for most of my life. When young, I wanted to be older; in college, graduated; raising kids, more me time; at work, to be home—you get the picture. When Hebrews 3:15 would come up, I'd feel the Holy Spirit prompting, "Today . . . ." But I didn't listen. I tried to make everything about selfish me and my plans.

That's what the Israelites did, they made it all about themselves (their wants, anxieties, and fears) instead of believing Almighty God and His ability to provide for them. 

And that generation missed out. He promised to bring them out of slavery, lead them through the terrifying wilderness to the Promised Land, and then give them rest.

 Why did they refuse? They just didn't believe He would.

Isn't that why I didn't listen or obey? And still sometimes don't? I ignore Jeremiah 32:27. Or, instead of believing God, I choose an idol (or the big "I") to save me. But that's Jesus' job! 

If you know God is telling you to do something through prayer, His Word, and godly counsel, just do it. Believe our good God. Let's encourage one another to set our big self and any idols aside, and O-B-E-Y. Today. We may not get a tomorrow.

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Discussion Questions

1. What lie am I believing that keeps me from being "all in" with God? What idol do I think could save me? (Maybe money, intelligence, work, status, looks, a relationship, or                     ?)

2. Have you said "yes" to Jesus as Savior—to give Him your sin and trust Him to make you right with God because of the cross? (Romans 10:9-11)

That is the most important thing for you to do today. Don't wait—your life forever depends on it. 

3. How could you encourage someone who is "fall[ing] away from the Living God" (Hebrews 3:12)?

A great anonymous quote: "A source of incredible temptation is a friend who cares more for my comfort than for my character."

Share below in the comments if you have found an effective way to encourage a straying friend to believe and follow God or maybe how someone shared with you when you had left the good path.

4. Whom do you need to encourage today to believe our Good Father?

7 Comments available

Michael Scaman 3 months ago

The warning is also in an area of the Bible that holds comfort. God is a shepherd king to Israel in Psalms 94 5 we are his people and the sheep of his pasture in the verse before. There is both comfort and warning.

Psalm 95 and 100 are both shepherd psalms and bookend the kingly enthronement psalms that even call on the nations to come worship God in psalm 96-99. Psalm 95 seems to be in terms of Israel and Psalm 100 has similar phrases but in terms of all the earth (all peoples were called on to worship in the psalms in between so I don’t take it as merely all the earth, all the land of Israel)

Greg Jones 3 months ago

Moses, speaking of Egypt:

With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those signs and great wonders. But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear. Yet the Lord says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God.”(Deuteronomy29:3-6)

Q2-Yes. First official time I was5. Second official time I was9. Many unofficial times between5-9many more after9. Last time12ish.

Q1-SeeQ2. Had to keep talking myself out of, saved from hell=all in.

I questioned until I was given a mind to understand. I still question other things, for the sake of understanding.

Sherah Willeford 3 months ago

I need to encourage my Jewish brother. Please pray for the courage and words!

Greg Jones 3 months ago

Sometimes God says to us, “you don’t understand yet”. Sometimes we hear and repeat, God told me to go off and die.

For myself, I consider that such a thing as God’s [W]ord continually forming within me. Part of the process is me interpreting God’s [w]ord to me.

God’s words to me contradicting themselves are an issue, until, understanding the contradiction becomes the Word intended for me.

Great devotional today.

Sue Bohlin 3 months ago

Outstanding devo, Linda, thank you!

My big takeaway is from Dr. Constable’s notes.

“The conclusion thus introduces the motif of the impossibility of a second repentance after apostasy, in anticipation of a fuller treatment later in the sermon . . ." The writer of Hebrews expresses God’s BIG concern that we remain faithful, persevering to the end. It’s really, really important to Him!

But I was especially blessed by a thought I’ve never encountered before, concerning the security of the believer:

“If our subsequent unbelief resulted in our loss of salvation, the condition for being saved would have to be faith plus faithfulness, which it is not.”

Whoa.

How good is God to not only save us, which we receive as a gift by faith alone, but if we harden our hearts toward Him, resulting in the loss of intimacy and rewards, He still saves us anyway???

Hope Harris 3 months ago

GM JTJ Family, I took some time this morning to read some of John Pipers thoughts on our Passage a couple of things stood out to me:

The protection against an evil heart of unbelief — is the other believers around you speaking faith-sustaining words into your life, speak words of faith-sustaining truth into each other’s lives.

Piper shared this verse and thoughts “16 Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God.” (1 Samuel 23:16 NLT)

The camaraderie of other Christians is their ability to remind each that: God is better. God is enough. Don’t leave him. Be strong. God has you in his hand.

Your calling, therefore, is to be a Jonathan in your relationship with other believers.

I am taking on the call of being a Jonathan

Hugh Stephenson 3 months ago

GM Linda. Great devo!

I love your truth about the sinfulness of focusing my wants, anxieties and fears rather than His promises and provision.

I am at daily risk of having fears about my two unsaved prodigal children…

This is a revealing and convicting way for me to consider how I am “hardened by the deceitfulness of sin”. I was encouraged recently to be taught that a God who is good, kind and just will do only those things that are good, kind and just.

Beyond that, I must remind myself about God’s nature & character while praying for the Holy Spirit to help me trust and obey.

I link to 366 verses where God tells me “fear not” or its equivalent. 366. Coincidence?

One of my many take-a-ways from Exodus-Deuteronomy is the ingratitude of God’s people for His provision. I have begun, again, praying my specific gratitudes each morning.

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