Strengthen Your Feeble Arms

“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.  Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. ”  Hebrews 12:12

My husband has been preaching through the book of Hebrews (my favorite).  A few weeks ago, we heard about the great cloud of witnesses who surround us — those biblical and contemporary saints who went before us and suffered for the faith.  Then we learned about discipline, how we should submit to it because God is building our character through it.  Last week’s sermon started with the verse above.  The therefore means we should pay attention to what has come before.  Because we are one in a long line of saints, because we have endured the Lord’s discipline, we are to continue to be strong in order to encourage others.

I have to admit that lately I’ve been feeling rather weak.  I’m getting older (turning 70 later this month) and this coronavirus situation has dealt a blow.  A month or more of enforced isolation somehow lessened my desire to get out and accomplish things.  Church is more difficult — people are uneasy and quick to accuse others of not doing the right thing, some are not attending at all, finances are suffering.  We’re uncertain about the future, and frankly, I’m not sure I’m up to being an optimistic leader right now.

The verse about tells me that quitting is not an option.  We are to remain strong, not only for ourselves but for others.  Any suffering we encounter is simply a consequence of our sinful humanity, and as the author puts it in verse 4:

“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”  Hebrews 12:5

The last chapter of the book closes with a list of things we can be doing no matter how daunting our situation.  Take a look:

  • “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy.” (12:14)
  •  “See to it that no one misses the grace of God, and that no bitter root grows up” (12:15)
  • “Keep on loving each other as brothers.” (13:1)
  • “Do not forget to entertain strangers” (13:2)
  • “Remember those in prison” (13:3)
  • “Marriage should be honored by all” (13:4)
  •  “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.” (13:5)
  • “Remember your leaders” (13:7)
  • “Pray for us” (13:18)

There’s more, but this gives you a taste.  There is much to be done.  We’re to continue serving God and serving others — this much is certain.  Weak knees are not an excuse!

For more on the book of Hebrews, see these posts:

Interactive Bible Study -Hebrews Chapter 12

Interactive Bible Study-Hebrews Chapter 13

Thankful for Others –Hebrews Chapter 12

Thankful for Leaders –Hebrews Chapter 13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Times Are Uncertain

 

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest.  He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.  And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’” Luke 12:16-20

Yes, these are uncertain times due to the pandemic.  You or I could become ill and die from the coronavirus.  On the other hand, we could also get cancer or be run down by a bus.  The truth is, life itself is uncertain.  I recently welcomed a new grandchild.  He was due on August 14th, and at the beginning of August, my daughter was told, “It could be any day!”  But guess what — the exact moment of his birth remained unknown until the day it happened (August 6th).  Our times are in God’s hands.

Does that mean we shouldn’t plan?  Or that we should take foolhardy risks?  Of course not.  We should live reasonably.  However, we should also avoid worrying too much.  The Bible tells us that worry will not add an hour to our lives.  We should not be surprised when our plans are interrupted, because God’s plan is not always ours.  We should not put off doing good, because the opportunity may not come again.  We should live in and enjoy the present because we don’t know what’s around the corner.

We can make all kinds of plans for things that never happen, but one thing is certain.  Jesus is coming again.  Like everything else in life, we don’t know the day or the hour. It might be today.  It might be in a thousand years. Whenever it happens, we want to be ready.  Make plans for that.  Don’t be like the foolish farmer.  Prepare for the sure thing.