We just finished studying Revelation. Now we are into Hebrews. Yeah: we try to take it easy…
I lead our recent discussion of Hebrews, chapter 3. In verse 1, the writer encourages the readers to “consider” Jesus, to think about Him, to “fix” their thoughts on him.
Then the author goes off on some tangential comparison of Moses and Jesus. And just when we get used to that discussion, he tell us that our courage and confidence are proofs we are in the family of God.
Then he goes off on another direction, discussing those terrible wilderness wanderers who were always questioning and disobeying God to the point He said, in effect: “No more. You aren’t going to the Promised Land. No rest for you!”
So what’s that all about?
Well, we discussed how in our lives, we often feel unrest. And we circled back around to that notion that we need to have courage and confidence.
Why did Israel grumble and then rebel? ‘Cause they didn’t have confidence in God’s good intention toward them. They didn’t have courage to trust Him. So they hardened their hearts in anger, took matters into their own hands, and rebelled.
You’ve got to be kidding me?
I mean, as the writer points out in verse 16, these were the same folks that Moses led out of Egypt.
How could these people have lost confidence in God’s goodness, complained, rebelled, and, eventually, lost their rest?
They forgot to remember.
They didn’t consider what God had done. They didn’t think about how much he loved them and would protect and take care of them, based on his past actions. They didn’t fix their minds on the past.
And that’s what happens with me. I forget Jesus. I forget the past. I forget the cross.
What better proof of God’s good intention towards me than the cross?
And when I forget, and life caves in; I grumble, I rebel, I sin. If not outwardly, inwardly. I lose confidence in His goodness.
So, my Bible study group asked: how do we avoid the same mistake as the wilderness wanderers? How do we fix our thoughts on Jesus? How do we consider Him in the midst of turmoil?
We thought of two things:
- When we feel that loss of rest, try and look at the cross. Try and remember Jesus dying for us. When we do that, we realize we don’t need whatever we are losing (a job, a friend, someone’s respect…) in order to be worth something. Our worth is measured in the price paid for us: the blood of the Son. And we can have courage that he who laid his life down for us will surely take care of us. Somehow we felt that focusing on Jesus at such times would help gain perspective.
- We also talked about the need to stop during the day and just refocus on Jesus. My pastor told me once that he stopped for prayer three times a day, cause if he didn’t, his mind would just wander away and the cares of the day would consume him. I’ve tried it before. I think I need to try it again.
Any other ideas on how to consider Jesus? Please share them!
Dear Lord: Thank you for that great Bible study this week. Sometimes I feel like we are touched when we are together, feel some conviction, then walk back into our lives… unchanged. We were all pretty aware that we need to think about you and remember what you did for us more often. Can you help each of us do that? Thanks. Amen.