Dear CSOPC family,
We want to thank you for your prayers this past week. A root from our giant (and beloved) oak tree in the back yard busted through the main sewer pipe running from the house. This of course, caused a massive back up and overflow. Thus, when we returned from our neighbors Sunday evening, we were greeted with standing water in the bathroom, bedroom, living room etc. Again, we are so thankful for our church family – your prayers and offers to help. We will certainly let you know when and how we might need some help – it’s going to be a long process with the rebuild and reconstruction process as well.
There is one important announcement to take note of:
We WILL BE HAVING A CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE at the home of Steve and Sandy VanTubergen. We will meet at their home at 5:30PM for a time of prayer, singing, and devotional study. Please plan to join us for this time. Also, please let me know if you plan to join us so we can give Steve and Sandy an idea of how many folks will be coming.
The VanTubergen’s address: 8503 Catawissa Drive, Houston, TX 77095.
And finally, this week’s devotion is a reflection from Hebrews 10 on living the Christian life in light of what Christ has accomplished for us.
God bless and I look forward to worshipping with all of you this Lord’s Day.
From the Pastor’s Desk
“Let us … Let us … Let us”
Hebrews 10:22-25, “Let us draw near … Let us hold fast the confession of our hope … And let us consider how to stir one another up.”
The Book of Hebrews is a majestic declaration of the supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a grand book setting forth the final and finished work of Christ, our true high priest. Christ is greater than the angels – He is greater than Moses – He is greater than Joshua – He is greater than the Old Covenant sacramental system (chapters 1-9). He is the “Apostle and High Priest of our Confession” and He is the one who grants us true and eternal rest (Heb 3:1; 4:1). And in the closing chapters of the book, the author calls on us to live in a certain manner – a manner reflecting the glorious calling we have received. Specifically, in Heb 10:19-25 there are three exhortations given to the believer.
But first in vv. 19-21, the finished work of Christ is summarized. In effect, these verses summarize the main teaching in chapters 1-10. Jesus has opened the way to the Father through his finished work on the cross. Our hearts have been sprinkled clean by his cleansing blood – we have been washed clean by the living water. By means of the cross, we have been reconciled to God.
Thus, first, we are to “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (v. 22). We are to draw near to the Lord. We are to cultivate close communion with our Savior. Because Christ has made a way for us to enter into the Holy of Holies (i.e. the very presence of the Father), we are to enter and to rest and to commune regularly and daily with our God. And one way we do this is through prayer (Heb 4:16). We commune with Christ – we draw near to Christ – we cultivate our relationship with Christ through prayer.
And second, we are to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (v. 23). We are to persevere in the faith. We are to press on. We are to grow in holiness. We are to endure … knowing that God is faithful. God is faithful to his word – He is faithful to his promise. He is faithful to his promise to bring his children home (Phil 1:6; John 6:39). Just as Jesus made the great confession – just as He persevered – so we are to make a good confession and to persevere (1 Timothy 6:13-14). And again, we do so knowing that God is faithful to his promise and that Jesus is now the great priest over the house of God, interceding for his church (v. 21b; Heb 7:25).
And finally, we are “to consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (v. 24). We are to encourage one another. And specifically, we are to encourage one another not to neglect the gathering of the saints (v. 25). We are to urge one another on to gather with the saints – we are to spur one another on to worship. A believer was redeemed to worship. But often we need the gentle word of a fellow Christian to remind us of the central importance of gathered worship to the life of the Christian and of the church.
Brothers and sisters, as those cleansed by the blood of Christ and as those who have entered by the new and living way opened by Christ, may we labor on – may we draw near to our King in prayer, may we persevere in grace, and may we be faithful in gathering with the saints. To the glory of Christ. Amen!