Hebrews 3:12-14 - Christian Obedience and Encouragement.

Hebrews 3:12-14 (NLT) Be careful then, dear 
brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts 
are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away 
from the living God. You must warn each other 
every day, while it is still today, so that 
none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened 
against God. For if we are faithful to the end, 
trusting God just as firmly as when we first 
believed, we will share in all that belongs to 

Hebrews 3:12-14 (AMP)  [Therefore beware] 
brethren, take care, lest there be in any one of you a 
wicked, unbelieving heart [which refuses to cleave 
to, trust in, and rely on Him], leading you to 
turn away and desert or stand aloof from the 
living God. But instead warn (admonish, urge, and 
encourage) one another every day, as long as it is 
called Today, that none of you may be hardened 
[into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of 
sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the 
trickery which the delusive glamour of his sin may 
play on him]. For we have become fellows with 
Christ (the Messiah) and share in all He has for 
us, if only we hold our first newborn confidence 
and original assured expectation [in virtue of 
which we are believers] firm and unshaken to the 


   One of my favorite state parks in 
northern California is Goat Rock, which is on the 
mouth of the Russian River. Our family is familiar 
with this area because Rick's mom and dad lived 
in Jenner, a small hamlet overlooking the river 
and with views of the coast. If you've ever seen 
the movie The Goonies, you've seen Goat Rock. 
   Goat Rock offers choices. A walk north on 
the beach will take you to the mouth of the 
river, where you can watch California sea lions and 
their pups fishing and basking in the sun. If you 
drive south and park, you can walk on a 
sand-and-pebble beach with a view of an arched-rock island 
white-topped with seagulls (and their guano). Goat Rock 
is between the two beaches, and going in the 
water there is tempting to some - but not everyone 
who does is lucky enough to be rescued. 
   Warning signs are posted. No lifeguard is 
on duty, and this is a hazardous place to be if 
you're not paying attention. The surf is powerful, 
and the undertow pulls you down deep where great 
white sharks roam. If you somehow manage to get 
back to the surface, there's still the riptide 
that pulls you out to sea. Over sixty people have 
been swept off their feet and disappeared. 
   If it's so dangerous, why do I love this 
   I like to watch the sea lions. I love the 
rhythm of the pounding surf, sometimes so heavy you 
can feel the power in your chest. I love the 
pools of pebbles and myriad of colors with each 
wave. I love the wind in my hair and the smell of 
salt, sea, and sand, the sound of seagulls, and 
all the treasures you find along the beach. 
   I stay safe because I heed the warnings. 
My life and the lives of those I love who come 
with me depend upon believing what those signs 
tell us. 
   The Bible offers warnings, too. We're 
told to stay alert, to resist the devil (see 1 
Peter 5:8), to heed the examples of others in the 
past (see 1 Corinthians 10:11), to keep our 
hearts from being hardened against God (see Hebrews 
3:13). The truth is sobering: Those who mock God's 
existence and turn their backs on Him will fall down, 
be pulled under and lost. But those who take 
God at His Word have a future and a hope. 
   Father God, teach me to see Your warnings 
as acts of love. Just as Danger! signs keep 
people out of treacherous riptides, Your limits are 
in place to protect me. May I always heed Your 
warnings and share them with others out of love. 
[Earth Psalms by Francine Rivers] 


Paint Or Get Off The Ladder

   How do we find God and grow in him?  
Jesus was adamant at this point.  He says we must 
do what he says.  We must put into practical 
obedience the knowledge that we have.  He continually 
asked people to drop their nets, to sell all they 
had and to follow him. 
   We might say that Jesus had a theology of 
obedience.  And the object of this obedience was a 
living person, not a historical norm, not a code of 
laws, but himself.  He called people to be 
accountable to God whether they were believers or 
skeptics who were searching.  For example, he told 
his disciples, "What is the point of calling me, 
'Lord, Lord,' without doing what I tell you to do?" 
(Luk.6:46 Phi)... 
   Jesus knew that obedience to his and his 
Father's words yielded faith ... If I had to sum up 
one's response to the gospel message, I would say 
as William Pannell has said, "It's paint - or 
get off the ladder."  Jesus approached people 
exactly like that.  He told them to pick up their 
brush and paint something. 
   Do you want to discover who Jesus is and 
deal honestly with your doubts?  Jesus' style is 
not to suggest that you go and ponder the virgin 
birth for three months but to begin doing what he 
says.  [Rebecca Pippert; Time with God devotional 

Encouragement Is A Weapon Against Sin

   The phrase "one another" is used 
fifty-eight times in the New Testament. It says love one 
another, care for one another, encourage one another, 
support one another, pray for one another, greet one 
another, and share with one another. 
   The word support carries the idea of 
strengthening one another. Help one another become more 
capable of facing the challenges of health and 
living for Christ. 
   So reach out for support, and also 
consider who needs support from you today. Biblical 
fellowship is a radical level of friendship and 
community that implies deep commitment out of genuine 
and joyful love for one another. 
   God wired us in such a way that we need 
each other. We get well in community. You need 
your coworkers, your family, the people who sit 
near you in church, the parents of your 
children's friends - even if you don't yet know their 
names, or even if you find them difficult at 
   With a loving community of friends, 
you'll be better able to cope with challenges like 
fatigue, fear, frustration, failure, depression, and 
despair. And most importantly, you won't have to walk 
through them alone. [The Daniel Plan 365-Day 

   John D. Rockefeller is known for his 
amazing success in business, but he had a greater 
reputation among those who knew him as an understanding 
man. He had a sincere appreciation for other 
people and was willing to accept failure if an 
honest attempt at success had been made. 
   When one of his partners, Edward T. 
Bedford, failed in a business venture, costing 
Rockefeller's company a million dollars, Rockefeller 
responded with a statement that has become a classic 
in business lore. He didn't criticize Bedford, 
because he knew he had done his best. He did go down 
to Bedford's office and say, "I think it is 
honorable that you were able to salvage 60 percent of 
the money you invested in the South American 
venture. That's not bad; in fact, it's splendid. We 
don't always do as well as that upstairs." 
   There's very little to be gained by 
making someone feel worse regarding something they 
already feel bad about! The gain lies in helping 
someone see the beneficial side of a failure, the 
positive lessons that can be learned from mistakes, 
and to instill hope for the future. Encourage 
another person today. You'll both feel, and do, 
better. [God's Little Devotional Bible re 2Co.10:8] 

   Many who struggle with severe 
disabilities, chronic pain, grief, or depression find 
themselves with a short battery life of encouragement. 
One day might find them cruising along on an 
even keel, and the next day all of that hope 
seems to evaporate. Today's Scripture acknowledges 
this, with the writer challenging us to "encourage 
one another daily... so that none of you may be 
hardened by sin's deceitfulness." The truth is, we 
all need daily encouragement from others when it 
comes to keeping a positive outlook. If we don't 
find that encouragement, the Bible says we're in 
danger of being hardened - not only by sin, but 
also by cynicism, bitterness, or despair. We need 
other hope-filled believers in our lives, friends 
who can lift us with wise words and reminders of 
God's goodness, grace, and power. We also need to 
be that kind of encourager, speaking confident 
words and letting that hope put a smile on someone 
else's face. 
   Lord, thank You for the amazing 
encouragers You have placed in my life through the 
years. I praise You for all those expressions of 
solid truth that lifted my heart and kept me from 
giving up in despair. I ask for the opportunity 
today to speak such words of hope into someone 
else's life. [Joni Eareckson Tada Daily Devotional: 

   At Christmastime I'm like a child. I buy 
a gift for my wife and then I can't wait to 
give it to her. As soon as I get it wrapped and 
under the tree, I'm asking her if she wants to go 
ahead and open it. It drives her crazy! But she 
smiles and says, "Come on, honey. It's just a few 
more days until Christmas." I love to give her 
gifts and watch her open them. But I know too that 
the greatest gifts are those that we give all 
year long. They are unwrapped, unplanned, don't 
cost a dime, and they can change a life for the 
   I'm talking about gifts like a word of 
encouragement during a difficult time, a hug when we 
really need it, a helping hand from a neighbor, a 
smile to warm the day of a stranger, a commitment 
to pray for someone else's need. Gifts like 
these are a form of service to others. They 
benefit both the giver and the receiver, and they 
are especially valuable for those of us who are 
journeying toward recovery. Taking the focus off of 
ourselves and putting it on others helps us to grow 
spiritually and emotionally. And it could mean a second 
wind for someone who is struggling, ready to give 
up and fall back into old habits. Best of all, 
these gifts don't have to wait to be opened. They 
bless us every day of the year.  
   Thank you, Father, for the simple gifts 
that bring gladness to our hearts. In Jesus' 
name, Amen. [Celebrate Recovery Daily Devotional 
by John & Johnny Baker] 




1st of 28: Divine Dining: 
2nd of 28: Pictures of the Divine: 
3rd of 28: A Dirty Bible: 
4th of 28: Cared For: 
5th of 28: Saved: 
6th of 28: You Can Change: 


If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or 
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either 
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in 
hearing from you.  Thanks in advance and let's keep 
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred 
Gibbs FGGibbs@abible.com