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Monday, February 15, 2021

Don’t Quit!

By Lance Cordle

    Like many people these days, I own an e-reader (electronic reading tablet). Also like many people, I keep several books loaded on it for the times of reading pleasure, as well as for when I have some time to kill in a waiting room, mall, etc. The company that produces my tablet sent me a challenge at the beginning of 2021: Basically, “Don’t Quit!” Read more and we will reward you. They offered badges for reading seven days in a month, fifteen days in a month and thirty days in a month, and others.
    However, the badge that especially caught my attention was a badge for reading from my tablet on January 19th. January 19th? What is so special about January 19th? According to the notification, someone, somewhere has determined that January 19th is the day when most people give up on their resolutions for the new year. So, as a way of saying to their readers, “Don’t Quit!”, they offered a badge for the day that most people would be giving up (or had already done so).
    Whether in a good habit such as reading, or exercise, Bible study, or living a godly life, we need to be encouraged to keep going. That is why the book of Hebrews was written and included in the biblical canon. Most students of the Bible believe that the fall of Jerusalem (A.D. 70) was set to occur within a few years following the writing of this book. Whatever the circumstance was, at the time of writing (mental persecution, peer pressure, seizure of property), it was causing some Jewish Christians to quit following Jesus and return to Judaism. We do know, however, that they had not yet shed blood in their struggle (Hebrews 12:4). A “word of exhortation” (Hebrews 13:22) was needed, and provided in the form of the letter we now know as Hebrews. In fact, some scholars believe that Hebrews may have originally been a sermon.
    Whatever the original form, Hebrews is indeed a “word of exhortation.” Emphasizing Jesus and his way as “better” (superior) over and over again (at least thirteen times), the author admonishes the readers to continue to follow Jesus.
    We know that anything that is good is worth holding onto (Philippians 4:8)—whether it be marriage, friendship, education, reading, exercise, and, especially, following Jesus! Let us use our minds and commit to continuing to do those things which are good for us.
“. . . And let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith . . .” in other words, “Don’t Quit!”
- Lance Cordle preaches the Calvert City Church of Christ in Calvert City, KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com


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