Mandy's Musings

Friday, December 07, 2007

Hang in there

I knew I hadn’t been good at blogging recently, but hadn’t realised that it had been over 2 months since I last said anything.

Of late, I’ve had a few ‘blasts from the past’ where I’ve reconnected with a few people I haven’t seen for years. And yes – Facebook is at least partly responsible! It’s reinforced to me how much we are influenced and shaped by the people around us. In a sleepless night while I was tidying up I discovered one of my ‘memory boxes’, full of letters and cards. One of the letters on top was written in about 1993, from someone who sadly today is not living as a Christian. Here’s what it said:

"Smile! God loves you


Problem solved.

• When your anger gets to much and your gonna explode, say Galatians 5:22-23 in your head, even out loud
• Implement the stuff you learn at Youth Group and Church into your life
• Forget about pleasing your mum and dad, forget about pleasing your brother, friends, uncles, aunties, even yourself. Do what pleases the Lord. E.g. Mark 12:31, Luke 6:35, Luke 10:27, Matthew 5:43, Matthew 5:44, 1 Corinthians 13:8. Stuff the world! You’re “dead to sin” if you are a Christian, so live like it. Don’t just say it, do it.
• Friends, who needs them! They let you down, forget to call, don’t show up, cause petty arguments, steal boyfriends, borrow clothes etc. You’ve got the bestest friend in the whole entire universe in your corner who loves you beyond belief. Talk to him, draw close to him and he’ll craw close to you, submit yourself to him and things will fall into place. So be patient (James 5:6).


It was really hard to read, knowing where the person now stands before God. Here is someone who had a significant impact upon me as a Christian, who is now living in active rebellion towards him. As a result, I’ve been reflecting on the way that our gracious Father works through others to teach us more about himself, and the way that we have a role to play in spurring one another on to love and good deeds (I’ve been thinking about Hebrews and the warning passages a fair bit).

Let me leave you with Hebrews 3:12-4:13:
12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 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. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

4:1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. [1] 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,

“As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest,’”

although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5 And again in this passage he said,

“They shall not enter my rest.”

6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”

8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God [2] would not have spoken of another day later on. 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

[1] 4:2 Some manuscripts it did not meet with faith in the hearers
[2] 4:8 Greek he

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