Friday, 12th February 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
We need to enter a new beginning with faith and persistence. The Book of Hebrews gives us hope and the love of God. Chapter 4 is continuing from Chapter 3 and the most important message is in V16, to come boldly before the throne of grace in our time of need. We should not be afraid to come to the throne of grace. The earthly throne is about judgement, even Apostle Paul was being judged before the throne of Rome. But only our God prepared for us a throne of grace.
Jesus told us that the judgment is not yet here, and right before us is the throne of grace, to help us to turn back. We cannot change our wickedness by ourselves but when we come before the throne of grace, then we can be renewed and revived.
Section One: V1-10 Enter Rest by Faith
V1 the promise is not only for us, but it was also given to Abraham and passed down to the generations. By faith we become the inheritance of Abraham and receive the same promise, which is entering into the rest. This is a gift we are given, but we need to receive it with a fear and trembling heart, because a condition comes with the promise. Not everyone can enter the rest of the Lord.
V2 when we said we want to enter the Promised Land, it’s not for us to do whatever we want to do, but to enter into rest, enter into a fellowship with God. We cannot do it by our strength or our might, but it is to have a fellowship with God and let God do it, then we can really enter rest. If we continue to work hard for this rest, then we can never receive it because in rest, we learn to rely on God. It’s not about ‘not doing’ but about ‘fully relying’.
V3 do not think that when we become the descendant of Abraham then we can receive the promise. The Israelites in the wilderness did not follow their authority, Moses, they complained and did not believe God will lead them to Promised Land. What they saw before their eyes were desert, old cloths, homeless life… and they remembered the food and houses they had in Egypt. Without a thanksgiving heart they complained and therefore God swore in His wrath for them not to enter His rest. Believe God is our light and lamp, as long as we follow Him by faith then we should not worry. So we need to stop complaining and simply follow.
V4-5 when God created the Heaven and Earth, He rested on the seventh day because He completed His Work. This Work is not only about creating the Heaven and Earth, the living things and human, but also all the promises and covenants He made with His people. When an architect designed a house, before the house was built, he already knew all the materials, bolts, nuts, and nails he needs for the house. God knew all the problems we are going to have on the earth, and He has already prepared a way out for us! In God’s blueprint, He has designed everything.
When God asked Jonah to go to Nineveh to declare destruction, but when the City of Nineveh repented and turned back, God did not destroy then. God is love, He is a merciful God, He gave people opportunity to turn back. The ‘rest’ here (v.5) has a different meaning, which is the ‘Promised Land’.
V6-7 do not think when we hear the Good News, we can receive the blessings, when we don’t have faith, everything we hear from God has no use to us. We need to act out by faith. Faith is not only being acted out in church, but the Word of God is also for our lives, our marriage, our work, the relationship with our children, etc.
V8-10 even Joshua was unable to bring the Israelites to rest. The 12 tribes did not really take the full inheritance, they did not cast out all the Canaanites and lived with their problems.
Section Two: V11-16 Rest in the Lord
V11-13 we need to rest in the Lord. The Israelites entered the Promised Land physically, but they did not fully rely on God, so they did not receive the Rest of the Lord. Not just have the promises, but we also need to strive to deny ourselves. Stop listening to the negative voices that tell us it’s impossible. The Bible tells us we must strive to enter. When we don’t follow, they we will fail and that’s why we need the Word of God every day. Why do we need to have Morning Devotion every day? Because the Word of God has authority, when we hear the Word the problems in our lives will be revealed.
V14-16 the great High Priest has already ascended to the Heaven and we need to follow Him. He knows all our struggles, our temptations, our sins, yet He did not sin. When we are in the Promised Land we need to rely on God and rest in the Lord, so we can obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Let go all our impossibilities, strive to follow and enter, live under the guidance of the Lord, rest in Him because He is our treasure.
Be blessed and receive this treasure of Jesus Christ.
Pursuit & Respond
Dear Lord, thank You, only You are our High Priest. Help us today, to see all the things that stop us from entering the Promised Land and the Rest of the Lord. Forgive us for our unbelief, our disobedience, our rebellion, our complaints, and our lustful desires of this world. Lord, help us to dig deeper into our hearts to see all these things hiding underneath us and lift them all up to You!
Help us, oh Lord, to see our hearts, we trust in You, You are the God Who can lead us into Promised Land. We want to have fellowship with You every day, and to receive the inheritance You gave to Abraham. We want to live a life pleasing to You, let every day of our lives be thankful. Today we come boldly before Your throne of grace, to obtain mercy and find grace. Amen.
本章最重要的一句话是最后一节（v.16）, 就是要“坦然无惧地来到施恩的宝座前….做随时的帮助。” 地上的王的宝座是为了审判，但在天上我们的主耶稣基督的宝座是一个施恩的宝座。耶稣说，审判还未来到，所以我们要回转。在新的一年，我们不要继续与我们过去的问题、软弱共存，要来到施恩的宝座前，“为要得怜恤，蒙恩惠，作随时的帮助”，将我们的问题交给耶稣。
2，“无益” – 没有结果的。应许之地不是为所欲为的地方，而是进入安息，进入与神相交（fellowship），不是我们拼命做事，而是让神来做工。在这个应许的安息里，我们不是什么事都不做，而是要学习完全倚靠神。