What's your image of God? Do you envision Him as a kindly grandfather, or do you imagine Him being a strict disciplinarian?
Our family of origin and how we were raised can have a positive or negative effect on our relationship with God. I've seen this to be true in people's lives over and over as a pastor and missionary.
This underscores the need for believers to be connected and involved in a church fellowship with trustworthy leaders. The church needs to be a supportive community guided by leaders well-grounded in the truth, who have shepherd's hearts for the people, just as we see in the early church (Acts 2:42-47).
Sometimes we need to be prodded to move on and move forward. We also need to prod one another at times. This is an important emphasis in Hebrews, to continue to trust in the Lord Jesus by faith. God will honor this commitment and we will be blessed for it.
God blesses the earth. So rain often falls on it, and it produces useful crops for farmers. However, if the earth produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. [vss 7-8]
Dear friends, even though we say these things, we are still convinced that better things are in store for you and that they will save you. God is fair. He won’t forget what you’ve done or the love you’ve shown for him. You helped his holy people, and you continue to help them. [vss 9-10]
We want each of you to prove that you’re working hard so that you will remain confident until the end. Then, instead of being lazy, you will imitate those who are receiving the promises through faith and patience. [vss 11-12]
God made a promise to Abraham. Since he had no one greater on whom to base his oath, he based it on himself. He said, “I will certainly bless you and give you many descendants.” So Abraham received what God promised because he waited patiently for it. [vss 13-15]
(Hebrews 6:7-15 GW) [Context– Hebrews 6]
We are still convinced that better things are in store for you
Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions
What illustration is given as a comparison? What do you think it's related to?
What encouragement follows this illustration? What are the better things expected?
Do you think this is a warning about losing or maintaining their eternal salvation?
How does the encouragement relate to the illustration given earlier?
Perseverance in faith is way undervalued. It shouldn't be. It's been the key of all faithful believers as seen throughout the Bible.
Reading through the Scriptures, we see how God honored and blessed those who continued to trust God, to continue in faith. We also see the consequences for those who rebelled or were unfaithful.
Faith looks forward, not backwards. It may be fueled by God's faithfulness in the past, but true faith always presses beyond the present. It perseveres.
Our faith isn't measured by good behavior and deeds, but by our continued trust in God during times of adversity, testing and trials, and even in the face of opposition to our faith.
Following the Lord in true faith should bring a change in our attitudes and behavior because we're being transformed internally by His gracious work in us.
Perseverance is an active patience, not waiting in aimless apathy, but with a confident, expectant hope in God. This is Abraham's example to us, who received what God promised.
Make it personal...
Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions
How are these believers encouraged about their salvation? Is it to earn or maintain it?
What final exhortation and encouragement is given, and how can believers do this?
Have you learned to persevere in faith with the joy and peace of God in your heart?
In what ways have you seen the Lord validate your faith and trust in Him?
Here's a free introduction for the book of Hebrews— Intro to studying Hebrews