TRANSFORMING COMMITMENTS: RESPOND
Happy Labor Day! Work was given to humanity just after creation. In Ecclesiastes, amid the vanity and smoke of human life, our toil can be a place of satisfaction. It is our hope that you find the joy of being productive and you sense the goodness of your contribution to the world around you. Our jobs are probably one of the most important commitments of our lives. In our sermon series Transforming Commitments, the sermon title is Respond. Our willingness to respond to a job offer, phone call, text or email is basic to our everyday living. However, we are increasingly overwhelmed with all of the information and messages that are coming to us through our technology. It has caused a fatigue of sorting and responding to the more important things because these are lost in the mountain of texts, phone calls, and emails! Also, all of us have had the experience of being frustrated with someone’s lack of response! This is probably one of the more frustrating problems of our lives – “Why didn’t I get a response?” We turn to Hebrews 4:6-16. These people are overwhelmed and struggling with their circumstances. They are new believers who are facing persecution, pressure, and seemingly insurmountable problems. They want to give up because things are so difficult. The Holy Spirit wants to encourage them that their lives can find God’s rest through trusting God even in the most difficult moments. God is the one who has spoken to humanity over and over again, only to receive a resounding lack of response to his invitation. Regardless of your circumstances, God invites you find the rest, the table that is in the middle of adversity. This passage helps us to overcome our doubt and mistrust to find strength and hope in our wilderness. It is our most diligent prayer that you will sense the Almighty God lifting you into his presence as you read Hebrews 4:6-16: 6Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, 7 God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are– yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (NIV).