google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html Highlights in Hebrews 8
Highlights in Hebrews
Highlights in Hebrews
(with Roger Kirby)

Part 8 - Hebrews 3:1
Jesus rules

The writer says “Therefore fix your thoughts on Jesus” (Hebrews 3:1) This reminds me very much of the old song that starts ‘fix your eyes on Jesus’. Both of them are very good advice.

The image they bring to my mind is that of a collie sheep dog. We, in this country, herd sheep with the help of dogs who race around the flock and move it in the right direction. A collie will walk alongside its master or mistress scarcely taking its eyes off them and so walking very awkwardly. At the slightest command they are away very fast to follow voice or whistled instructions. Not only are they very obedient they are also very intelligent - one of the most intelligent breeds there is. So if there is a fold in the ground that takes them out of sight of their master they will almost certainly continue to do the right thing.

In the previous chapter the writer has been explaining things about Jesus, how effective his death has been for us in making us acceptable to God in spite of our sinfulness and general waywardness. He has now come to a ‘therefore’, challenging us to live in a way worthy of Jesus. (He does this most of the way through his book, alternating descriptions of what Jesus has done for us with challenges of how we should respond to him.)

Here his ‘therefore’ indicates that we are being challenged to act towards him as a sheepdog does to its master: with complete obedience whenever possible and intelligence when it is not. That is an intelligence that has been well developed by our past history of concern for scripture reading whenever possible, studying it and developing a good working knowledge of what it says.

When and how we do this is important. It used to be that everyone was exhorted to start the day, everyday, with Bible reading and prayer. That is all very well if you are retired and come to life as soon as you wake up. If you have a young family, need to start work as soon as you can, or, like me, are quite hopeless until you have some breakfast inside you, that is not very good advice. What you need to do is to set yourself a pattern of activity with the Lord that will fit into your day or week. I remember one time in my life when it was one evening each week, always the same one, which I dedicated to Bible study and prayer. That fitted into my life in a way that an early morning daily ‘quiet time’, as we used to call it, would not. Don’t worry if you can’t fit into someone else’s idea of what you should do. Make up your own schedule and stick to it. The good Lord will surely approve of you if you do that provided you are consistent and persevering.

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