Take Care

Take Care

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.
Hebrews 3:12-19

These verses have long stirred within my soul to shape my longing and my living. As I share with you a few personal reflections from our time in Hebrews, I pray this exhortation serves you in heeding the author’s initial words: take care.

Unbelief is a sorrowful tragedy that results in a failure to enter Jesus’ rest. This unbelief came as a result of a hardening of heart through the deceitfulness of sin. We see this play out among those who rebelled and fell in the wilderness. I am broken over Israel’s unbelief, but then I am confronted with my own unbelief. The reality is–I battle unbelief everyday, you battle unbelief everyday. By this I mean, the daily fight of faith is the fight to apprehend this glorious truth: Jesus is better.

I believe, help my unbelief.

Mark 9:24

I have been challenged by Hebrews to give myself to thoughtful examination of any way within me that neglects to treasure Christ as superior and satisfying. I long to enter Jesus’ rest. Yet, the author of Hebrews makes clear that only those who persevere in the faith will enter this rest. Thus, Hebrews fuels my living–to persevere in the faith. As I persevere in the faith, I make it my practice to guard against this unbelief through starving brokenness while feeding my faith upon the promises of God.

This war against unbelief is not to be fought alone. As the church, we need one another. Empowered by the Word of God and Spirit of God, communal diligence and daily exhortation are the means through which the battle is fought and rest is found.
Jesus is better. Take care, brothers and sisters.

For the joy,

Justin Ray

Student Pastor

Justin and his wife Bailey have been at Tri-Cities since 2021.