But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. Hebrews 10:32-39
Did you ever have something and not realize its value? Back in 1962 I owned the comic book Amazing Fantasy #15. Now too many of you that will not mean much but to a Spiderman fan it does. You see Amazing Fantasy #15 was the issue that Spiderman made his debut. That 12 cent comic book is now valued at $280,000. And I can’t blame my mother for throwing it out, I traded it for another comic. I remember about twelve years ago talking to my neighbor who owned a comic store and then the comic sold for $65,000. At one time I probable owned every of the Marvel Golden Age comics and the same number of DC comics. As a preteen I had over $1,000,000 potential value. Who knew.
As followers of Christ we have something even more valuable. In fact it is priceless. Jesus has given us the gift of eternal life in a relationship with God. No amount of money can buy that. No matter how much we would try we could never obtain that gift on our own. Only God can supply it and it cost Him Jesus’ death on a cross. Yet how many of us forget what a valuable prize we possess. It seems the people the writer of Hebrews was addressing had forgotten.
These Jewish Christians had seen their possessions confiscated. They had been beaten and arrested. Many had been killed by stoning and other means. All this they accepted because they had found something more valuable, more valuable than even their lives, eternal life and forgiveness of their every sin. Now they we having doubts.
Maybe it was because Jesus had not returned. Maybe it was just the day to day things that crowd our lives. Maybe they were tired of the constant oppression. Whatever the reason they were turning away from Jesus and back to their old lives, habits and traditions. They had forgotten what a priceless gift they possessed.
We are no different today. We get so caught up in the day to day that we can forget the gift God has given us. We strive to be successful in the world and forget that it is only temporary. So we slowly stop doing God’s work and become useless to Him. Maybe we even cause others to not become believers because of our actions.
The good news is that unlike my comic books that I traded away God’s gift cannot be given away. No matter how we fall down on our job, no matter how unfaithful we are, God is always faithful and always keeps His promise to us. Judgment, we cannot escape that but eternal life, once we have it we cannot lose it.
Have a blessed day,