Hebrews 3:7-15 (NIV) 7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, 9 where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.'” 12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15 As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”
Our Sunday Bible study relating to these Scriptures was so good! ”When we quake in fear rather than grow in faith, we’re in real danger of slipping into disobedience. The journey of faith is a lifelong trek, requiring us to maneuver through twists and turns that put our devotion to Christ to the test. We have a mutual responsibility as believers to warn and encourage one another DAILY in this matter.”
David Jeremiah wrote: “The word ‘today’ is a God word. I think the word “tomorrow” is a satan word. The word that you find in the Scripture from God is always the word ‘today.’ There’s never a tomorrow. The enemy is the one who comes and tells us tomorrow.”
Somehow I have this idea that as we get older, we should be sailing through and so mature that we shouldn’t get discouraged or feel undevoted. Of course, the truth is that we can get discouraged, give up and give in at any age or stage.
The study goes on to say, “The Holy Spirit will confront us as believers today if we start to drift. God will use His Word and other believers today to turn us back to faith and obedience. Today, then, is the day to respond with tender openness to God’s voice.
Scripture calls us to be fully devoted followers of Christ and to encourage one another daily in faith. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is out of reach. Today is the day to love and obey the Lord with all your heart.”
This lesson was such an encouragement to me to be diligent about staying tender. From there God reminded me not to self consciously hold back my desire to encourage others toward God’s word and ways.
Like me, do you sometimes hold back or feel like you are being pushy when you have words of encouragement and truth to share? These Scriptures not only give us permission, they are a command!