It hit me during a sermon my husband was preaching last night at the Watch Night Service at our church. He'd been asked to fill in and preach in place of one of our pastors who is in the hospital. He said it was a huge honor to fill Pastor Emmanuel Ephraim's shoes in that pulpit. I had to agree. Pastor Emmanuel, in the short few months we've known him, has taught us so very much already. We praise God for him.
Back to the sermon. David was preaching on Hebrews 13:7-9. Most of us are very familiar with Hebrews 13:8, which says, "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever." Powerful words; powerful Truth. Sometimes, it's enough just to rest in that Truth and nothing else. But, a real follower of Truth simply can't do that; we always want more. And there is so much more.
Verse seven tells us to remember those who have led us, those who have taught us the Word. But, we aren't to remember them in following them blindly, but only after we see their end result; i.e. if we see them being faithful. The author of Hebrews admonishes us to imitate their faith, but only if they remained faithful. Discretion is important. As we look at their faith, we must see Jesus. Verse eight clearly points out that Jesus Christ is the same....yesterday, today, forever. He does not change. He is constant. In his sermon, David said, "You can count on that!" and the room resounded with "Amen!" from every corner.
Verse nine, coming on the context of that assurance of Jesus, tells us exactly how to have a nice day. "Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace..." This verse is a clear acknowledgement that there are varied and strange teachings out there. We are warned to not be carried away by them. We are told what they are....varied and strange. To recognize varied and strange teachings, we must be aware of and familiar with the teachings of Christ and His absolute unwavering consistency, which is our Anchor.
"It is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by food..." How do our hearts get strengthened by grace? Verse eight tells us.....focus on Jesus Christ, for He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
Varied and strange teachings cause unrest in our souls. They leave us questioning.
Grace rests our souls, giving us peace and satisfaction.
Because we can rest in His grace, our hearts are strengthened by that grace. It's a peaceful place to be.
So, don't listen to varied and strange teachings. Stay to the "old, old story of Jesus and His love" and you will, indeed, have a nice day, today and every day. Guaranteed.
So, have a nice day! It will be easy now that you know how.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!