Focal passage: Hebrews 2:14-18; 3:1, 5-14
There is an old saying, “Well begun is half done.” Although this may be true, it is not the complete picture. Think in terms of a horse race, a work project, a novel or a Christian life. It is finishing well that really makes the difference. The writer of Hebrews offers suggestions for finishing well the race that God has called us to run.
Look to Jesus (Heb. 3:1)
Jesus is called the pioneer of our faith. He is the one who has gone before us and has remained faithful to the end. He not only showed us how to live faithfully, He also showed us how to die.
Because He was obedient to the point of death, God has lifted Him up above all others (Phil. 2:8-9). By keeping our eyes on Jesus we can find encouragement, “so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Heb. 12:3). It was when Peter took his eyes off Jesus that he began to sink in the water.
Learn from the Jews (Heb. 3:7-11)
The people of Israel were well on their way to the Promised Land. God had brought them out of Egypt and had opened a way for them to cross the Red Sea. When they came to the land of Canaan, however, their hearts became hard. They did not believe that God could empower them to overcome the enemy, so they turned away from God and from His promises.
“These things were written as examples for us.” Imagine driving down the highway when suddenly the car in front of you drops out of sight. Surely you would have enough sense to stop and head in another direction.
Lean on each other (Heb. 3:13)
Remaining faithful is much easier when we are surrounded by others who are also seeking God.
Before I gave in to convenience and bought a gas grill, I always cooked on charcoal. I would pile all the coals together and squirt lots of lighter fluid on the pile. When the match hit the coals they would ignite into a roaring flame that quickly settled into a glow. As long as the coals stayed together they would grow hotter and soon be ready for cooking. If a coal rolled away from the pile, however, it would quickly turn cold and useless.
The same is true for us. When we are away from other believers, it is easy to “lose the fire.” Our hearts become hard, and we become useless to the kingdom.