"So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it."
It takes more than mere belief to be a Christian. I must continually seek out Christ and follow His teachings. If I'm not diligent in my pursuit of Christ, I could easily drift away from it.
"Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested."
"15This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most."
These verses about Jesus are so encouraging! He became human and was tested and tried, just as we are. He knows what we are going through; He has been there! When I feel overwhelmed, I need to remember that Jesus has been here and knows what I'm going through. I need to come to Him in prayer and ask Him to help me when I'm struggling!
"7That is why the Holy Spirit says, 'Today when you hear his voice, 8don't harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness."
"Remember what it says: "Today when you hear his voice, don't harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled."
"God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: 'Today when you hear his voice, don't harden your hearts."
These verses all refer back to Psalm 95:7-8: "7for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. If only you would listen to his voice today! 8The LORD says, 'Don't harden your hearts as Israel did at Meribah, as they did at Massah in the wilderness.'"
(Meribah means "arguing," and Massah means "testing.")
Basically, God is making it real clear that when He speaks to me, I should listen to Him! The Israelites missed out on the Promised Land because of their bad attitudes and disobedience to God. I certainly don't want to miss out on all the wonderful things God has to offer me! It's so easy sometimes to avoid or talk myself out of something that God puts on my heart. When God speaks to me, I need to listen and obey, not turn away from Him.
"12For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable."
God's word (the bible) is meant to be more than just a good story to read. It's a powerful life-changing tool. The bible exposes things about myself that I need to be aware of and change. If I read it with a true open heart, I can see where I fall short in God's calling for me.
Also, I can't hide my heart and my true intentions from God. He knows everything about me. Thinking about that fact makes me ashamed for my past (and sometimes even my present). I am very blessed that He is willing to forgive me and wipe my slate clean day after day! I also want to do my best to please God and live the way He wants me to. When it comes down to it, my heart really has to be in it! God knows if I'm just going through the motions.