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Monday, January 16, 2023

Hebrews 10:23

"Let Us Hold Tightly!"

Message summary: Rest in this wonderful assurance today and join me in holding tightly to our hope in Christ!

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"Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise" (Hebrews 10:23). "Strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble" (Hebrews 12:12).

If you feel today that you can't make it
Keep holdin' on, cause you can take it
If you hold on a little while longer
Hold on a little while longer
Hold on a little while longer
Hold on

Your abdominal muscles surround your trunk between the rib cage and pelvis and keep your abdominal organs safe. Your core abdominal muscles also support your trunk and allow movements while keeping your body stable and balanced. Unless you've had a problem you rarely if ever even consider these vital muscles.

But recovering from the abdominal surgery I had two weeks ago I am very aware of their importance! About every movement you make in one way or another uses these muscles.

I was considering this in regard to an exercise in gym class now over 50 years ago. Most all of us can recall our Physical Education (Gym) classes from Elementary through High School.  I thoroughly enjoyed my PE classes all through my growing up years, concluding at Truman High School in Independence, MO since I was reasonably athletic.

Climbing ropeOne of the optional conditioning exercises included several large thick climbing ropes that hung down from the gymnasium ceiling. Students would take turns shimmying up the ropes to the ceiling of the gym and then back down. As I recall I needed to use my legs as well, unlike the man in the photo. You have to be really strong to climb using only your arms!

Do schools still provide these climbing ropes? It does seem like there could be a safety factor and thus dreaded liability since, in my high school days, it was just the climber and the rope. However I don't recall hearing of any accidents. Now they probably have all kinds of safety features and tethering.

Climbing the rope requires not only strong abdominal muscles which prompted the memory but also a tight grip. In life there are many ways in which it is imperative that we keep a tight grip such as our commitment to our faith in Christ, our marriage, our family, our health, our doctrine and our integrity.

The most essential aspect of a tight grip is seen in our daily text: "Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise." Other versions state, "Let us hold fast without wavering" and "Without wavering, let us hold tightly".

Hebrews 10:23

The text begins with the words "Let us" which is known as the hortatory subjunctive. This is my favorite preaching and writing style whether I am the listener, reader, the preacher or writer. One of the first sermons I ever preached was from Hebrews and throughout the message I repeatedly used the phrase "Let us". After the message Jeff, a Bible College friend, thanked me for the salad sermon (lettuce)!

The author of Hebrews uses this phrase "let us" twelve times. When I read this book or hear sermons preached using this phrase (also known technically as the cohortatory) I am encouraged, as it seems the author or preacher is leading me, not pushing me. The writer conveys that he was facing the same circumstances as his readers so he presents a form of personal resolve in his writing.

I believe today's text is the singular key text in the entire book of Hebrews. This call to faithfulness is directed to the earliest believers who were the initial recipients of this Scripture and to all others through the ages of the Church, including each of us today. That's a vital way we read the Scriptures.

We are to "hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm". Of course primarily this hope we affirm is the hope we have in Christ. Earlier in the book of Hebrews we read, "We desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end" (Hebrews 6:11).

And this hope we affirm is absolutely secure, "for God can be trusted to keep His promise." Rest in this wonderful assurance today and join me in holding tightly to our hope in Christ!

Weeping may endure for the night
But if you trust in Jesus
Everything's gonna be all right
Just hold on a little while longer
Hold on a little while longer
Hold on a little while longer
Hold on, Hold on

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, in this ever-changing society where transition beckons us daily, You are the Changeless One. As we hold tightly to the hope we profess we will not be swayed to the right nor to the left. And we hold to this hope because You are faithful to Your Word and Your divine character. Though the heavens are silent at times and the world continues to slide into decadence and intolerance toward true Christians we remain faithful. We will hold on a little while longer and shine as lights in this dark world so that we can influence as many as possible. As we hold unswervingly to the hope we profess we will not give up due to weariness, weakness, or a wayward heart, for Your unchanging truth makes the triumph sure. We joyfully have enlisted as a soldier in Your Christian army and choose to be led by Your grace divine. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Hold On"  Video  Selah

"He Will Hold Me Fast"  Video  Selah

Weber couple photo 7/3/22
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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