The author of Hebrews wrote primarily to Jewish Christians – Jewish people who had become believers in Jesus as Messiah, as Savior and Lord. In this particular passage he encourages them in two qualities of faithful living: growth and diligence. To get the full meaning in today’s reading, we should go back to chapter five, start at verse eleven, and then read chapter six, verses one through twelve. At the end of chapter five, the author characterizes his readers as infants, still drinking milk instead of eating solid food. Though they may be chronologically mature, they are spiritually immature. They have stayed babies in Jesus instead of growing into adults in Jesus. Some have even fallen back into pre-Jesus ways of thinking, worshiping, and behaving. This is worse than remaining a spiritual infant! Against these tendencies to stay spiritually immature or even revert to a pre-Jesus lifestyle, the author urges spiritual growth and faithful diligence as essential qualities. To be a true and faithful believer in Jesus is to grow spiritually. It is to follow him diligently. Why grow spiritually, and why follow Jesus diligently? Because Jesus is utterly worthy. He is the creator of the universe and heir of all things; he is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of God’s being; he sustains all things, including you and me, by his life-giving word. (See Hebrews 1:1-4.) He gave us his best and his all. He wants our best and our all. This is why we must grow in spiritual maturity and diligence. How can we grow in spiritual maturity and diligence? There are many ways. Yet there are certain chief ways, when we live in the power of the Holy Spirit, to grow spiritually and to follow Jesus diligently: regular worship, both individual and corporate; regular study of God’s Word; regular prayer; regular fellowship with other believers; and regular acts of love for family, friends, neighbors, and strangers. God is just and loving. Through his Spirit, he will nurture and mature us when we worship, study, pray, socialize, and love as true followers of Jesus.