The book of Hebrews reminds readers how their ancestors rebelled against God in the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt. The people of Israel didn’t trust in God’s power to provide. They didn’t believe he cared about their need for water.
The writer urges the believers and us not to fall into the same trap. It’s tough to follow God’s commands and live as disciples of Jesus. The daily struggle with sin can harden our hearts. We can begin to doubt God’s goodness. Sin tempts us with promises that it can’t deliver. Even so, we sometimes think we can give in to temptation a little bit. We whisper to our conscience, “Tomorrow I’ll repent and follow God.”
Remember there is no such thing as past-tense or future-tense discipleship. Hebrews repeatedly uses the keyword “today.” “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7). Not tomorrow. Not yesterday. Today. If we harden our hearts against God’s voice today, what makes us think we will listen tomorrow?
Today, we can choose to listen to God’s voice or to harden our hearts against him. And every day, we have an opportunity to encourage one another to keep following Jesus, even when the road is difficult.
“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:12-13
Yahweh, I choose to follow you today. Father, please keep my heart soft and sensitive to your voice. God, bring other believers into my life to encourage me and may I encourage those around me to keep seeking you. In Christ’s name, Amen.
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