Random super encouragements I’ve had from reading the GOD’S WORD Translation of Hebrews:
Through God’s kindness he (Jesus) died on behalf of everyone. (2:9)
- It is so good to know that God is intrinsically and profoundly kind.
God is the one for whom and through whom everything exists (2:10)
- How can there be a better statement than this? It’s all about God.
Jesus, who makes people holy, and all those who are made holy have the same Father.
- It’s all about holiness. It is so hard to wrap my head around the fact that I am holy, but I am. And I am because of what Jesus did, his creation process in me.
Brothers and sisters, you are holy partners in a heavenly calling (3:1)
- That’s who my beloved church mates are — partners! Here are the things we have in common as partners: we are holy, God has chosen us, and we are citizen servants of heaven. It’s like the process of being chosen for a sports team, only so much more. We ARE a team — God’s team!
So look carefully at Jesus, the apostle and chief priest about whom we make our declaration of faith. Jesus is faithful to God (3:1)
- We need to look to Jesus and his example of being faithful to God. He never did what he wanted, it was all about God.
Therefore, a time of rest and worship exists for God’s people. 4:9 (NIV: There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God)
According to Jamieson-Fausset-Brown, there are two Greek words for rest used in Hebrews 4. One describes a rest from weariness. The ark came to rest after many days of voyage. Israel rested from war after Joshua’s victories in Canaan. The other describes the rest we have when work is completed, as God rested after the work of His creation. It is encouraging that it is both of these kinds of rest that we will have in heaven. We will have relief from a life of trial and striving, and God’s work, of which we are a part, will finally be complete.
We have a chief priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he didn’t sin. So we can go confidently to the throne of God’s kindness to receive mercy and find kindness, which will help us at the right time. (4:15)
- I love the picture of approaching God’s throne being sure that I will receive mercy and kindness. Queen Esther was so afraid of approaching her own husband, the king, that she and the Hebrews fasted for 3 days. I can go straight before Him and He will welcome me with open arms. Even though I have sinned, His heart is overwhelming grace and mercy. And because of that, even though I have sinned, He will help me!!
- Side note here — I have been thinking about this verse: I pray that your love will keep on growing because of your knowledge and insight. That way you will be able to determine what is best and be pure and blameless until the day of Christ. (Phil 1:9-10) The more I see God’s mercy and kindness, the more I understand his love, the more I will be able to make the right choices. It all starts with love and mercy!