Take Care.

“Take care” is a friendly way to end a text message or a conversation. On the lips of the author of Hebrews, it is a strong warning.

Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God (Hebrews 3.12).

Like “hold fast” (verse 6), “take care” is one Greek word. It can be translated, as “see, perceive, beware, or discern.”

If we combine those words together, we can amplify the meaning to read: “See, perceive, and discern what’s really taking place. Beware, watch out, and take care that you are not deceived.”

Self-Deception

There is possibly no greater deception than self-deception. If we have perceived our inside condition to be evil, without faith, and distant from God, we are in trouble.

“Steps and Stories” by Sandy Beach is his account of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Beach was one of the early members of AA.

When he took his inventory and listed the resentments he had accumulated, they appeared as a slide show on a screen.

For most of his life, Beach had focused on the slides on the screen. If only he could change the people and situations “up there,” everything would be fine.

He realized that the problem wasn’t what was “up there” on the screen. His problem was the slides he was creating and putting in the projector.

Our problems are not what are “up there” or “out there” with other people. Our problems are what is “in here,” in our willingness to deceive ourselves.

We need to see, perceive, and discern what is the accurate picture of our inside condition.

If not, we run the risk of being like the people of God in Numbers 13-14. In yesterday’s article, we saw how the faithlessness of the 10 spies destroyed the faith of the larger group by turning their hearts away from God.

We do not want to be part of the crowd that refuses to trust God and denies the adequacy of God’s power to fulfill his purposes for us.

Hold Fast Vs. Turn Away

“Hold fast” (verse 6) and “take care” (verse 12) are necessary, lest we “turn away from the living God” (verse 12).

God is the “living God,” because he acts, demonstrates his power, and keeps his word. If we refuse to trust God, we act as if he were not “living.”

The account in Numbers contrasts the living God with the kind of unbelief that we want to “take care” and not imitate.

This is the unbelief of the people: And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them?” (Numbers 14:11).

Contrast God’s nature: “Nevertheless, as I live and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord” (Numbers 14.21).

To be without the “living God” is to suffer ultimate loss.

To “fall away from the living God” is to reject his promises and power.

Exhort One Another

God has given his children the family of God, where we exhort each other to hold fast and take care of our faith.

But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3.13).

When we exhort one another, we call them to join the faithful followers of the Lord.

We can use every means possible to help brothers and sisters in Christ to fully rely on the Lord.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I talk about this passage today on YouTube. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling channel.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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