Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.
As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.
Not all who start finish.
Those who enthusiastically left Egypt did not reach the Promised Land. The same people who witnessed their deliverance by your miraculous and mighty hand later turned and rebelled against that same hand.
You require more than a good start, don’t you, Lord? You call us to walk with you all the days of our lives. Not all who pray a sinner’s prayer will be saved, but those who persevere and keep ahold of you.
Father God, like the Israelites I have seen your mighty hand at work; I know your deliverance. Do not allow me to be lured by the world or hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Keep me near you. Through your Spirit correct me, lead me, discipline me, call to me. Keep my heart soft toward you.
Lord, send me friends who will exhort me to keep on. And allow me to exhort my fellow pilgrims. Let us cheer one another on toward you.
Oh, Yahweh, I want to stay near you. I want to abide with you. I want to flourish in your vineyard, firmly attached to Jesus the vine — to grow in you, to draw life from you, and to bear fruit for your kingdom all the days of my life. I want to share in Christ all that has been ordained for me.
Keep me ever near you. For in you is my confidence to the end. In you is life.