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A Fresh Start: Day

God means what he says

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Today's Text: Hebrews 10:19-29

Text: Hebrews 10:19-29

Sometimes in my life I forget how great and sovereign God is, how real the words in the Bible are. In this age of instant gratification and feel-good messages, it’s easy to think of God as a warm and fuzzy persona. It’s easy to talk only of the unconditional love He has for us and forget the importance of the proclamations He’s made.

In Hebrews, we are assured that God means what He says, in two ways.

The first is this: Once we are His, we are His forever. We are instructed to “…hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:23 NIV). We can come before him and know that, because of Jesus, we are white as snow.

But the flip side is this: For those who hear the Word and turn away from it, who refuse to accept Jesus’ offer of salvation, “…no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God” (Heb. 10:26-27 NIV). That’s pretty heavy stuff.

These verses make us squirm. Surely not, we console ourselves. Certainly the punishment is not that fierce. Sure, some may not believe, but they are probably nice people, right?

Sisters, nice isn’t the condition for salvation. It’s fully, totally, unconditionally accepting that we are broken and sinful by nature and the only way that we can come before God is through Jesus. Jesus makes this very simple: there are no hoops to jump through, no lists, no good works to get to a certain level of holy. Nothing. There is nothing on earth we can do to ensure eternal salvation short of having Jesus as our Savior.

This verse is uncomfortable. It’s not pretty. But it’s the truth. God means what He says. When you’re His, you’re His forever. Period. And if you hear and reject what He’s offered, there is no other option.

As we start this New Year, let’s look into our hearts and make sure we are fully comprehending our salvation, that we have truly given our lives to our Father and not simply been working on getting to heaven because we are nice people.

Good works should come from our thankfulness for salvation and love for Jesus, not as a way to get around what He did for us. Live and walk in fruit, sisters!

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  • Very good reminder. Thank you for the boldness in this message. We need to hear this more often even though it may be unpopular!

  • Thank you sweet girls for sharing your thoughts and struggles. They are a blessing to me. Praying for each of us as we face the challenges of this day, this hour, this minute. Love the statement from someone (sorry I don’t remember who) “God means what he says when he says I am his.” A good word!

  • Womderful words ladies, beautiful prayers for one another! praying for you Mollyb…
    Thankful for this absolute truth- no way around this one…praying I never stray too far, too long…
    Keep me near Lord, I need you!!

  • I am his forever and he will not leave my side!

  • I feel as if the Lord is trying to admonish me. Sisters, pray that I would not fall into any guilt, fear, or condemnation, but that my heart would be soft towards any conviction from Christ concerning my life. Father, let your will be done today. Amen.

  • Even when we are not faithful, He remains faithful. His forever!

  • I have been struggling with believing that the truths of my father apply to me. Sin is getting in my way. It is hindering my relationship with Jesus. I struggle to find him, hear him and trust him. Addiction is overtaking me again. I am projecting my own feelings about myself onto my father. I read his truths. I know he means what he says, but it is so hard to let that sink into my heart and truly believe. Please pray for me ladies. Part of me is still trying to earn my salvation. Guilt and shame make me want to run and hide from my father.

    God, please help me believe what you say applies to me. Please come meet me in my sin and shame. Push out the lies from the enemy and replace them with your truths. Slow my mind. Help me find you Jesus. Help me accept your grace and quit running. I will never deserve your gift of salvation, help me quit trying to earn it. My addiction is stronger than me, but not stronger than you. Help me believe you will carry me through. My sin is serious. I keep living in sin and expect to also receive your spiritual gifts. I am yours forever Father, but that does not mean I can have you and sin. Cleanse my heart. Restore my life. Change my thinking. Thank you SRT. Bless these women father. Amen

    • AnnaLee

      Molly, praying for you today. I too fall into sin even as I try to approach God's grace (and I actually fall into sin a lot in the mean time of trying to earn it.) Father, thank you for convicting both Molly and I of our sin and trying to earn your grace. You are bigger than Molly's sin; I pray that Lord, as she comes to you today, You'd be with her in her thoughts. Show her areas in her life that are causing her to fall and show her how to fight that temptation, or as Joseph did, to run away from the situation as a whole. Let her know she can rely on you for all of her weaknesses and failures. Let the truth of your grace, love, and guidance cover her today.

    • Jane

      Praying for you Molly and that the bondage and chains of addiction be broken in Jesus name. He loves you right where you are, but too much to keep you there. There is relief and wholeness with Him. Love to you sister…

    • mollyb

      Thank you AnnaLee and Jane for taking the time to pray for me. I pray that God will bless you for your encouragement and kindness!

    • tina

      Mollyb, praying for peace of heart first and foremost for you……Be still and know that He is Lord…Be still…..God is with you through this storm, His truth DOES apply to you, whether you sin or not, He loves you…and as Diane put it…Period…no ifs or buts …that it!!!! Believe, trust and know that you are His and He is yours……Let go ….and let Him… He is Sovereign, Lord of all…..
      Will continue to pray Peace , wisdom and God's Grace and mercy over you dear friend…
      I.m going to send you a link if I can of a song one of our sister's here introduced us to ….I think it might help…. if this link doesn't work the song is Cover me by Mark Cordon . Bless you.

    • Rachel Nordgren

      Molly, I am praying for you. It is a lie of the enemy that you have to earn your salvation. Don't let him win! Get your sweet heart into Ephesians 2 today, and read it slow and several times. You belong to the God of the Universe, and He is telling you that you have been saved by grace. No thing on this earth, no addiction or suffering or sin, can have a stronger hold on you than Him.

    • Teresa

      I use to struggle with "how can God love me with all I have done, how can I ever say sorry enough, how can I ever be good enough?" The more I read in His Word the more I read about all the "imperfect" people God had used to bring about His plan of salvation and the people He used to share His story. I struggled with calling Him Father and that I could have this amazing relationship with the Creator of the Universe. He knew I struggled so He revealed himself through His Word and through people. Stick with this community of women and you will also find encouragement, let His words pour into you and over you every day. Praying for you to let Him remove your chains of guilt and shame so you can find freedom.

  • Oh my how I needed this today!!! “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” I can hardly explain the great comfort and peace this verse brings to me today. My husband and I are getting ready to move from Dallas (the buckle of the Bible Belt) to Las Vegas…we are here looking for houses right now and the culture shock has been overwhelming to say the least. But you know what, I’m actually thankful for that, because it reminds me of how much work there is still to be done in evangelizing to people and sharing our joy of salvation with them. In Dallas it seems like everyone in our sphere of influence belongs to a church and has a personal relationship with Jesus..out here I am getting a much different vibe! But praise The Lord for sending us out here to be lights for him. Because he does mean what he says I can trust him to take care of us while we live out our faith here. Because he does mean what he says, I can trust that there is a specific job for us to do while we are here. Because he does mean what he says, I can trust him to use us for his glory. I pray we would all take comfort in this truth today!

  • Very well written!! Thank you for this!

  • I love that we are given such clear directions on how to make sure our faith does not waver: 1) draw near to God with a sincere heart, 2) hold firmly to our hope of eternal life, 3) spur others on toward love and good deeds and 4) keep going to church and gathering with other Christians. And if this encouragement and guidance is not enough to keep us living a life of faith, the scripture provides a very clear warning about the wrath of God for those who believed but discarded their faith over the course of their journey. I'll stick with steps 1-4 any day, thank you, "since [I] have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for [me] through the curtain, that is, his body, and since [I] have a great priest over the house of God." Ladies, may we never trample the Son of God underfoot, treat the blood of the covenant that sanctifies us as an unholy thing or insult the Spirit of grace! May we instead draw near, hold firmly, gather together and spur on! Have a great day!

  • While that verse is yes, uncomfortable…it is also comforting at the same time. It is black and white, no grey areas to salvation. That to me is comforting knowing I am a child of God and like you said, it is forever. But it is comforting to be able to share the good news with others by knowing that there are not grey areas, but one true way to salvation.

    • Valanne

      Tara, this is so me (black & white) and why I do so well with God's word. My friend is filled with grey saying, "Aunt so and so is surely in heaven because she was a "good" person". And I have to wonder what Bible is this friend's pastor preaching from — where the truth gets turned to grey false teaching. And this person is so comforted where her loved ones are (that never went to church or showed any light of ever being saved), and I am grieving that the one true way to salvation has been distorted and her comfort is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

  • I wrote this in my journal after reading the passage & post and I thought I would share it with you all in hopes of encouragement:

    "God means what He says when He says I am His.

    I feel like I get something different out of these than what it said every time. But I guess that's how the Holy Spirit works, right? From this reading & post, I was comforted by the fact that I am His forever because when God declares something, it stands forever and He has declared me as His.

    God says what He means unlike so many people who will claim they love & care and then leave. But God's Word is Truth, and once you receive Him, you are His and He is not going anywhere."

    The truth that God's not going anywhere and that you cannot go outside of His love once you have truly received Him is so comforting, and I hope that you, my sisters, find comfort in it too.

  • Amen! This is a word I needed to hear this morning. I love the way God uses others to bless us in our time of need. He is an on time God! Thank you Diana and and all who contribute to SRT for your faithfulness.

    God bless my SRT sisters this beautiful Saturday morning!

  • Today's reading brought into light the importance of checking my heart for God. I know that He is here, I feel his presence, but if I am not constantly opening my heart to him then I will miss out on absorbing His truths. I cross-referenced today's passage in my study Bible and was very drawn to Ezekiel 36:25-27. "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities… I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you… I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees." I want to spend time on these truths this weekend, so that I can approach God with a sincere heart, as verse 22 today said, and then hold unswervingly to His hope (v .23).
    I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

  • "As we start this New Year, let’s look into our hearts and make sure we are fully comprehending our salvation, that we have truly given our lives to our Father and not simply been working on getting to heaven because we are nice people. Good works should come from our thankfulness for salvation and love for Jesus, not as a way to get around what He did for us."
    Being a Christian for a long time, I'll admit is does become second nature to forget or take for granted His sacrifice. It's kind of like hearing "oh, pray for so and so, they are having a quadruple bypass today." We hear it so often now days, we forget the seriousness of the procedure. I mean…their heart is being worked on for cryin out loud! It's insane! I don't ever want to forget or take for granted Christ's sacrifice. I love how the Message version states it.
    "If the penalty for breaking the law of Moses is physical death, what do you think will happen if you turn on God's Son, spit on the sacrifice that made you whole and insult this most gracious Spirit?" Oh Christ have mercy. I don't ever want my heart to forget.

  • Yes Diana. There are way too many feel good, say nothing messages out there. God is love and his love is fierce, powerful, and truthful. We must take the Lord as he is or not at all.

  • Sweetdes

    When you're His forever, you're His forever. Period! Thank God, He never walks away! He never leaves my side!

  • cmcneill777

    I stumbled upon this website by starting the study over James (my favorite book) yesterday. I thought I would give it a shot and see where it took me. This morning I woke up to this devotion in my email and it really encouraged me for my upcoming day. I work in sports ministry and today we have our first basketball games. The entire process of getting to the first games has been incredibly stressful and today's devotion reminded me that I am His. It also reminded me that our purpose is to lead others to a relationship with Him so that they do not have to face a "fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire."

    Thank you for this encouragement as I go into my day, now prepared to show others how wonderful it is to be a daughter of God.

  • Janee White

    Hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty concious – bodies washed with pure water – hold unswervingly to the hope – since we have the confidence?

    Its all there – but do we live it out. Do we live free from a guilty concious? Do we see ourselves pure? Are we holding on to hope, since we have the confidence?

    I'm convicted as all get out by this. I didnt think I had a guilty concious until I read this. But I have recently realized that so much of what I know is in my head – and has not dropped the 13 inches to my heart. No amount of knowledge will sustain me if it doesn't begin transform me. I need to confident in the Work He has done in my heart vs just knowing that He did a work in my heart. Does that make sense?

    • Kyla F

      "do we live it out." <- such simple words Janee but such an important question to ask ourselves!

      Your words make sense to me, as I have been working through similar thoughts and realizations. I am going to start being intentional about asking God to soften my heart and absorb the new life He is giving me.

      • Janee White

        Oh Kyla….He would love that prayer :) He longs for our hearts to be like His. And I pray with you and for you, that the New Life that He has given you be lived with the fullness He intended. And that the the revelation of Scripture, the finished Work of the Cross, and the transforming Work He has done in your life – be more than just knowledge, but be fully camptured in the chambers of your heart. So that the blood that pumps out, be full of Living Water that will satisfy your hunger and thirst. .

    • AnnaLee

      "I need to be confident in the Work He has done in my heart vs. just knowing that He did a work in my heart."
      Yes, it totally does make sense, Janee. Even this morning, I find myself living guilt, fear, and condemnation about whether I'm "actually doing the Lord's will" or not. But our Lord has made me pure, white as snow, and ONLY Christ can make me blameless before God. Father, help me (all of us, for that matter) to keep listening to your voice, following wherever you lead, and to keep serving you WITHOUT fear and in RIGHTEOUSNESS that comes by relying on you alone all our days! (Luke 1: 74-75).

      • Janee White

        I have found myself asking the same question many many times. Am I 'actually doing the Lord's will'? And I know that many times, the answer was no. But forturnately, we have graceful God. He promises to be the voice behind us telling us to go to the left or the right. He promises to be our cloud by day, and pillar by night. So if you are not sure, ask Him. He will direct you back – on an amazing path full of Grace – with an out-stretched hand that not only leads you, but comforts you as well. I pray today, that you hear nothing but that voice – see nothing bu that path, and feel nothing but Love when you place your hand in the Hand of His perfect will.

        • AnnaLee

          Janee, your prayer was completely received and acted upon yesterday. Thank you so much for your prayers. They really blessed my life in a big way.

    • Valanne

      Janee I'm praying for your heart to be fully opened to God's goodness and sanctification in your life. May you turn that brain off and fully embrace with your heart — his washing of every past, present and future sins. He did it for Rehab, the women at the well, Saul and this women named Janee! You talk so many time of the way he is transforming you. Rest in him today dear sister.

      • Janee White

        Oh girl…..to see my name among that list….wow! Thank you so much for your encouragement my friend. I will rest in Him – rest in the knowledge of Him – and rest in the healing and transforming power of His Love. Today, I pray, we both ponder His Words and Works in the chambers of our hearts – and that the lives we live are the visibie transformed lives (full lives) He sacrificed so much to give us.

        Thank you so much for your words of encouragement Valanne – it was such a sweet gift to wake up this morning. God bless you today…..

  • As a very Type A person, this is the good news I needed to be reminded of today:
    "Jesus makes this very simple: there are no hoops to jump through, no lists, no good works to get to a certain level of holy. "
    Praise God for that!

  • Joanne Sher

    Such a powerful reminder – not only for our own salvation, but for that of those around us. When I get shy, or uneasy about sharing the Gospel, I need to remember how horrible hell is. Is my uneasiness worth sending those around me to that unphathomably terrible place?

  • amykelly213

    Amen, Diana! Amen!!!

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