The writer of Hebrews ends his letter to this old, second-generation Hebrew-Christian congregation with encouraging words. They needed exhorting; many were teetering on the brink of turning their backs on the faith and returning to Judaism. A bit of persecution had come their way—not the large sort (torture and death)—but ostracism and the like. “Was it worthwhile?” some were asking. And I suppose, like their ancestors long before them, were sniffing at the onions and garlic of Egypt. Exhortation was due.
But how does he give it? Among other things, he assures them that the “great Shepherd of the sheep,” Who had gathered them into a flock, would “equip” them “with every good thing for doing His will” (Hebrews 13:21).
It’s discouraging when one must face an enemy with no weapons (or knowledge of how to use them, if you do have them). This writer knows that, and goes right to the heart of that problem: God will not send you out to do battle for Him without first equipping and training you. But you must believe this and avail yourself of what He provides.
So, Christian brother or sister—are you weary of fighting the forces that oppose you every time you seek to please Him by doing His will? It is your fault, you know. This passage says so. You can be the kind of person who successfully resists temptation while becoming more like Christ in the process. You can please Him. How? By availing yourself of all of the equipment for doing so, and learning how to use it.
If you don’t know what this equipment is, then you need to talk to your pastor or an elder in your church. After he tells you, ask him how the church has provided opportunities for you to learn to use it effectively. Those two things plainly ought to be matters of such concern that you refuse to put off doing so. Phone, email, or see someone about them today!
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- How to Help People Change by Jay Adams
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