ROPE 1 for November 2015

Reveal: 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. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. – Heb. 3:12-14

Observations: Perseverance is the author’s goal. He points to two things that are at the root of turning from God and failing to persevere: sin and unbelief. Allowing sin to live in us drives a wedge between us and God and will ultimately create separation, turning us away from Him. Whether or not our salvation can be lost is debatable, but living with separation from God is hardening of our hearts toward Him and surrendering to sin’s deceitfulness instead of God’s truth. Unbelief is related to surrendering to sin, because pursuing sin is telling God that we don’t believe He will or can bless us as He’s promised, and it rejects His promised provision in favor of more shallow infatuations. We must encourage one another in this, since each of us cannot withstand the temptation of sin alone. Today–the present–is the only time where eternity is touched.

Prayer: Father, strengthen me in You, so I can withstand the deceitfulness of sin. Enable me to hide Your word in my heart so I can refute the lies that draw me away from You. You have promised to satisfy my desires with good things–things You will draw from Your rich and boundless storehouse of blessings. Help me to remember You and Your riches when temptations come. Enable me to persevere, to hold to my original conviction firmly to the very end, my last breath. With my last breath, may I honor You.

Exercise: Believe in Him and His promise to satisfy your desires with good things, and with this belief and the assurance of its truth, encourage others in the present.