We hear the Great Commandment of the Old Testament in Deut. 6:4-5, “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength.” Jesus will repeat this Great Commandment and add a second to it. Have you made other gods of things in your lives? Have you ever spoke words of love to God? Might be a good time to do so with all your heart, being and strength. Israel was to remember all the good God had done for them all the way back to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Can you share with spouse, friend or children the good God has done for you and your family? God warns the Israelites not to think they have the power and strength to control their destiny. God is the one whom we look to for guidance. God reminds the Israelites that the will perish if they turn away from God. Perish is a term we can reimagine in that left to our own devices we will do poorly on our own. Maybe not at first, but we will perish. Let us listen attentively to the voice of the Lord and follow him.
Hebrews challenges us to rouse one another to love and good works. To not stay away from our assembly, but choose to be an active participant. Don’t look on your good works as meaning little or nothing. Remember them, be proud of the times you have served the Lord well. They are signs that you know where your salvation lies. We cannot work our way to heaven, but we need to respond to the grace of salvation in Christ by lives of faithful service (good works). LIVE BY FAITH!