The writer of Hebrews is paraphrasing Habakkuk 2:3-4 in this passage. He’s stressing that our spiritual walk is made up of constant, focused, decisions to trust and obey the Lord…even when we can’t see change. He warns us against retreating or drawing back from trials simply out of fear. If you’re in the middle of a storm today, don’t allow fear to rule your life…don’t hesitate when apprehension rises in your throat…rather make a conscious decision to listen to that still small voice of the Holy Spirit and walk by faith.
Here Paul is comparing the human body with the body of Christ…the Church. Just as the many parts of the human body work together in complete harmony…each with its own unique purpose, the body of Christ – the Church and its many parts need to come together in like-mindedness also. And just like the human body, one part cannot work in isolation from the rest. That would be like one Sunday morning your heart getting up and deciding not to be part of your body that day! You may think that your presence at Church doesn’t matter…but it does…the whole body suffers when one part is absent.
When we come together as God’s family, my spirit and yours are refreshed. (I Cor. 16:18) The Lord has opportunity to minster through you and me to touch others with encouragement when we meet together. He can also move corporately throughout to refresh…exhorting, inspiring, and spurring on. But when you decide not to go to Church or Bible Study or Prayer Group for selfish reasons, you are denying others the blessing of giving and receiving hope and inspiration through your absence. Never believe that you don’t matter in the Family of God, for you are a very important and intricate part of the spiritual community called the Body.
There comes a time in all Believer’s lives when one has to take a stand. Our journey with Christ Jesus has taught us much… inspiring, edifying, rooting and establishing us in His truth. So now we stand at a crossroads in our life. Do we compromise everything we’ve learned, or stand firm in our faith? Do we give in to the crowd, or be that “weird Jesus lover”? The decision is hard but yet an easy one to make if you’ve already been firmly rooted and established in Christ.
A face that “lights up” with a smile is so very much easier to look at than a scowl. A person with an optimistic outlook and positive attitude is nicer to be around than one with the opposite. I realize it can hard to be around negative, down, people with chips on their shoulders, but a cheerful look can transform the crankiest of people by bringing delight to their hard heart. A sincere smile and kind word can change a heart of stone into a heart of flesh.
The watchmen on the city wall kept their eyes fixed on the horizon for the lone messenger running from battle bringing good news. In your young walk with the Lord did you have a similar person who proclaimed good news to you? They mentored you as you grew in the Lord… instructing, exhorting, encouraging, but always sharing the Good News. Now it’s your turn to be that messenger in someone elses life. Before you say,” I can’t do that”… What has the Lord done for you in your own life?… That’s Good News! What are stories of how the Lord saved you, delivered you, and brought you peace?… That’s Good News! Can you proclaim that your God reigns in the world and in your life?… That’s Good News! See, I knew you were a Messenger of God!
The Hebrew word, Selah, is left untranslated in the Bible. It is found in 38 of the chapters in Psalms. The term is so ancient, that they are unsure what it actually means. It may be a musical term – a transition in the melody, or it may show a pause. Either way, it’s a very poetic way of reading though the Psalms, in that the writer wants you to pause…and consider what has just been said. He doesn’t want you to hastily read through the scripture, but rather stop…and ponder what was just written. I think we could all benefit from more “Selah” moments throughout our busy and hectic days…pauses to reflect, meditate and listen to that still small voice.
Jesus liked to use analogies when He taught the crowds that followed Him, and He had just spoken about judging others, when He gave this comparison. How can you be so concerned and finding fault with your brother who has a fleck of sawdust in his eye, while not even considering the wooden beam in your own? If we belittle someone else, and find fault, it somehow makes us feel our own shortcomings aren’t that “bad”. If we just focus on their weaknesses…we don’t have to face at our own. Jesus wants us to remove the plank out of our eye first…and then we can see clearly enough to take that speck out of our brother’s.
The snow is swirling, the roads barely driveable, it’s Winter here in Idaho. But the dark dreary days are broken up by hope in the form of seed catalogs! These brightly colored montages of flowers and vegetables transport me to Spring in the middle of all this snow. But I’m also realistic enough to know that it may be months before we can even till the garden. As with this scripture, we should do what we can now..it says it is time to seek the Lord until He comes. The time is right, the season is now, to seek Him…ever hopefull of Spring … and Him.
If I said “Ministry”, you’d probably think of many well-known Christians with TV shows and Conferences you could attend. But God has a Ministry for you also…it’s to have compassion towards the needy, and to tell others the Good News of God’s loving kindness. Your Ministry is to touch the people around you with the love of Jesus…so go and fulfill YOUR Ministry.