“For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your mind.  You have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.”

Hebrews 12:3-4

Continual contemplation of Him will lead to daily consecration of our lives.

That’s really the essence of today’s Manna:  To “chew the cud” on Who Jesus is, His teachings and actions while here on earth.  And, in so doing, His Presence will permeate our lives as His Power keeps us from being “wearied (Grk. ‘kamno’—‘to toil, tire, fainten, grow sick, etc.’) and faint (Grk. ‘ekluo’—‘to relax grip, break up, be destroyed, dissolve, melt away, crack, shatter into small pieces, etc.’) in your mind.”

Hmm. . .sounds like something we need, doesn’t it?

Most assuredly—especially in this day-and-age of multiple, incessant attacks upon what we believe and the Biblical values we hold dear as followers of Jesus Christ.

Now, as never before (because of our worldwide ability for information and communication), long-held Christian beliefs are being challenged and undermined.  Even within the Church herself, members and even leaders are questioning the reality of and need for such bedrock beliefs as the authenticity, reliability and relevance of the Bible. . .the reality of sin and need for repentance. . .the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, etc.

And, when you throw in the fact that God somehow seems “missing-in-action” because of escalating evil, seemingly unanswered prayers, etc., it’s enough to shake the foundation of your faith.

But, we shouldn’t be surprised—not when we remember and reflect upon what Jesus had to say about “the beginning of sorrows” and Last Day events (Mt. 24:3-25:46).

There’s no doubt the recipients of the Epistle to the Hebrews were undergoing persecution.  The repeated “two-edged Sword” (Heb. 4:12) ebbing between “wooing and warning” concerning trusting Christ and the danger of rejecting Him is foremost in the writer’s message.

That’s why he said “consider Him,” using the Greek word “analogizomai” for “consider,” which basically means “to analyze, contemplate, reckon with, reason, etc.”  And, when we couple it with the preceding verse, which talks about “looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith” (v.2a), we realize the two—“looking” and “considering”—go hand-in-hand.

Remembering Jesus’ suffering. . .and His Promise to be with us in ours. . .will help us when we’re starting to feel like Elijah sitting under the juniper tree (I Kings 19:1ff).  He knew very well the “contradiction (Grk. ‘antilogia’—‘dispute, disobedience, strife, speaking against, etc.’) of sinners against Himself;” yet, He continued loving, forgiving and interceding for them.

And, so must we if we are to “know Him, the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death” (Phil. 3:10).  So, rededicate yourself today to spending more time “considering Jesus” than you do watching television, reading the latest best-selling novel, etc.—for that will keep you from losing hope in these Last Days.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated July 25, 2009

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