God does not see your personal works of righteousness as any gain toward salvation. However, the more you fully understand what Jesus truly accomplished by His death and resurrection your desire to enter into His work of reaching others for Christ should increase. God sees those works of labor and love.
Hebrews 6:10-12, 10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Verse 10 is an impactful statement that is often overlooked. What verse 10 is actually saying is that God is just and as such never forgets your work and labor of love that you show the saints in His name. People however are just the opposite. We tend to forget the good things we, others, or God has done and instead dwell on the bad things. In fact many Christians can remember hearing a verse or even know of the verse in the Old Testament where God says He will remember the iniquities of the fathers to the third and fourth generation found in Exodus 34:7. Therefore the typical misunderstanding even in the church today is they hope their good outweighs their bad and they will make it to heaven. But few people realize that God never makes a comment even similar to Exodus 34:7 in the New Testament. Verse 10 is actually the opposite in that God will not forget your work of love shown in His name. Later on in our study in Hebrews chapter 11 you will see how by faith so many people did great things for the Lord, but none of the evil they stumbled in is even brought up in that chapter, just their good work and labor of love by faith. This work and labor of love is not to gain righteousness or earn their salvation, but rather an extension of their love for God because they know His love for them. Today we also know of Jesus’ sacrifice to pay for our sins.
So to recap verse 10 God is just and diligent to remember their work and labor of love to the saints in His name. Now when we look at verse 11 in this new light of verse 10 we see where the author is encouraging the Hebrews and us, to show the same diligence in remembering the great work and labor of love God has done and shown to us. Recognize that God is not keeping a balance sheet of good and bad to see which weighs the most, He only keeps ledger of the good and therefore we are to maintain that same thought process of remembering the good He has done for us. Consequently our lives would be better here on earth if we chose to only remember the good we and others around us have done instead of keeping our personal file cabinet of faults of self and others. God does not ask us to do anything He has not already done for us. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others; sound familiar?
So why is it so important for God to go to the effort to show us how He only remembers our works and labors of love for the saints and that we should do the same toward Him? Verse 12 tells us that remembrance of God’s work and labor for us is what keeps us from getting sluggish. Do you ever get tired and sluggish in your walk with Christ? Do you sometimes, or even often, doubt His love for you? Do you ever remember or do you even know that He will go before you and be your rear guard in life? Isaiah 52:12 tells us that we will not go out in haste or in flight, but that the Lord will go before us and God will be our rear guard. Does that sound like you should have any fear of things going so wrong that God cannot fix it? What Isaiah 52:12 is saying is you will not run from your enemies or problems with haste or fear, but the Lord will go before you and God will be your rear guard. Even if you caused the problem, God’s powerful love for you will help you get through the problem. All you have to do is have the desire to overcome and ask God for His help. So how can you begin to learn this new way of living, where you are able to find strength to do what you need to do? Hebrews 6:12b, imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Find that Godly man or woman who is a spiritual leader bearing good fruit in their personal lives and watch what they do. In 1 Corinthians 4:16 Paul says, imitate me. In 1 Corinthians 11:1 he says imitate me, as I also imitate Christ. Remember God not only sets the rules, He sets the example in that He does not ask us to do anything that He has not already shown or done for us. In fact He has done more for us then He has ever asked of us. God sent His only begotten son to die for us. And this He did before we were worthy in our eyes to receive what He did.
The message of the cross, the power of grace, is not just your surety of getting out of Hell free. And it does not give you the freedom to sin nor tells you that you do not need to make effort to overcome sin in your lives. What the message of the cross does, is gives you the power of God’s grace to boldly come to Him when you do come to yourself in your time of need. We studied this back in 4:16.
So why are not more Christians living in this supernaturally powerful life of peace and abundance that we read of in the New Testament? Hebrews 3:12 & 19 tells us it is because of our unbelief which is the same reason the children of Israel were not allowed to enter their promise land the first time God took them to the border. Unbelief in our personal lives that God will do for us what He says that He loves us as much as His word says that we are truly free from any commendation of sin, is because we remember the bad things about ourselves. Another reason could be because we are still in some kind of hidden sinful life style or practice that we have not given to Him for help to overcome. If you know you doing wrong, that knowledge undermines your faith in God’s word. When you do not tithe, you undermine your belief that God will provide for all of your needs. When you allow yourself to stay in porn, you undermine your belief that God truly loves you. When you allow yourself to continually pick up the drink day after day because you find a comfort in it, you are enhancing your disbelief that God will do for you what His word says. When you allow yourself the supposed freedom to make unrighteous choices about your life for the temporary joy, fun, or relief you may find in sin, you are feeding your own conscience to fight against any faith you may have gained from your understanding of God’s love for you. By not purposing to come to God boldly, by faith and knowing that He only remembers the good you have done, then your mind will always keep you from living in true belief and therefore the Devil is stealing your God given blessings. By allowing yourself to continue to do that which you know you should not do, or by not doing that which you know you should be doing; you personally are undermining any faith you may mustered up. Remember as a man thinks in his heart so is he, Proverbs 23:7.
Believe in your heart that God only remembers your good work and labor of love for the saints, not your bad. Remind yourself to live the same as God by only remembering yours and other’s good instead of the bad; this will help you from becoming sluggish in your walk. This is the love Jesus spoke of in His new commandment from John 13:34. And imitate those around you who live Godly fruitful lives.
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