Together in Christ: 'So That None...' — Hebrews 3:12-13

Monday, March 18, 2024

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Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still "today," so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.

— Hebrews 3:12-13 NLT

Key Thought

The writer of Hebrews has a theme throughout his "brief exhortation:"  [1] We must be alert to prevent ourselves or anyone else in our circle of Christian relationships from drifting away from Jesus. We must maintain a passionately and actively lived faith in Jesus as Lord because an inactive faith is not genuine. [2]

What I find most influential in this often-repeated and potent theme in Hebrews is that the message to have a passionate and vibrant faith is two-pronged:

  1. I need to be awake and alert. I must choose not to drift away or have my heart turn away from God. I must be vigilant and passionate in living my faith in Jesus!
  2. I also need to be awake and alert, ensuring none of my brothers and sisters in Christ is drifting away and losing their passion for Jesus. As part of this effort, I should challenge my fellow believers to vigilantly and passionately live their faith in Jesus.

When God confronted Cain with his brother's absence, Cain answered, "Am I my brother's keeper?" [3] God's answer could be summarized: "Yes! Yes, you are your brother's keeper and your own keeper, too!" God warns and encourages each of us individually to a passionate faith. He also challenges us to encourage each other to a passionate faith. Sin and Satan are deceptive. Faith can easily be put on autopilot and lose its vibrancy. Then, we easily lose our focus, passion, vigilance, and faithfulness to the lifestyle of Christ. Our goal is to mature in Jesus and to continue "trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed"! We are also looking for the "lost sheep" that have gone astray. [4] So we guard against drifting away, wandering away, or growing lukewarm in our faith. [5] We want to remain passionate for Jesus and passionate for each other's faithfulness to Jesus! [6]

[1] Hebrews 13:22 — the word translated "exhortation" can also be translated "warning" (or "warn" in verb form, as in our passage today) and "encouragement," as in other verses in Hebrews. It has the meaning of needed encouragement — consoling, encouraging, warning, challenging, whichever kind of encouragement is needed!
[2] This sobering theme is written to believers to awaken them to active faith. The theme runs throughout the Holy Spirit's message of exhortation in Hebrews — Hebrews 2:1-4, 3:12-14, 6:1-12, 10:23-29, as well as elsewhere — Galatians 6:2; Romans 15:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:11.
[3] Genesis 4:9 NIV.
[4] Matthew 18:10-14; Luke 15:1-7.
[5] Jesus is standing at the door and knocking for believers who have grown lukewarm in their faith. He wants them to return to a truly vibrant faith and open the door to Him — Revelation 3:14-22. Notice this passage written to Christians in a church, not people who have never been saved!
[6] Galatians 6:1-5.

Today's Prayer

O, Lord God Almighty, You who search hearts and minds, I ask for Your help. Open my eyes to see any diminishing passion in my heart for Jesus and for the life He calls me to live. Also, dear Father, please help me see any brother or sister who is struggling with a heart growing cold or hard to the truth and is close to walking away from Jesus. May my faith's passion be alive and focused on bringing the lost to Jesus and the straying back home to You. In Jesus' name, I ask for this grace and power. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • James 2:14-26
  • Hebrews 6:1-2

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Illustration

Illustration of Hebrews 3:12-13 NLT — Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still "today," so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.