Monday after Gaudete, The Third Sunday in Advent
Scripture: Hebrews 10:35-39 (NKJV)
35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
37 “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
38 “Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”
39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
The Word of God reminds us: “Do not cast away your confidence…you have need of endurance.” The letter to the Hebrews was likely written to people who were tempted in precisely that way, people who were tempted to quit enduring as their confidence was shaken. To pull them back from such a disastrous course the letter quite simply reminds them of who they are: “We are of those who…believe to the saving of the soul.”
In our day the devil has twisted many a mind. He tempts them, often successfully, to “identify” as something they manifestly are not, as something God has not created them to be. That doesn’t mean there is something wrong with having an identity, but we let God furnish our identity, rather than trying to figure it out for ourselves.
The identity we have in Christ is as “those who believe to the saving of the soul.” God has worked that in us. The Holy Spirit has called us by the Gospel, enlightened us with His gifts, sanctified and kept us with Jesus Christ in the one true faith, “to the saving of the soul.” This is who we really are in Christ. This is the identity God Himself has given us. God grant us grace this day to live like who we are, and to put away living like who we aren’t anymore. To God be the glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We pray: Lord God, heavenly Father, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, You have made me a new creation in Christ Jesus. Help me this day to live up to who You say I am, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.