Living the Life–Hebrews 6 part 1

It really is about living the life.  So many churches in my life have focused on getting folks to say a prayer, walk an aisle, join a church or follow some tradition.  God has always said, since Adam that this journey is about walking with God following him, worshipping him and ultimately becoming like him.  Romans teaches us that it is a gift we cannot earn, I John teaches us that even when in the journey we will fail, but, the key is that once you have decided to follow God, you will be different.  If it was casual, if you would walk away simply because you were tired or sad, would be a sign that you were never really in the relationship.

Once we have tasted God’s grace, glory and love, we would be fools to walk away, and if we do, we can’t simply come back later as if nothing happened.  We were bought with a great price and to walk away from it will also be very costly.  Each day, we choose whom we will serve–but, praise God that our daily choice neither voids his commitment nor puts our salvation at risk.  If we follow him, Nothing can separate us from his love.  Follow him and allow him to make a life for you that will astound you beyond your wildest dreams.

God Bless You

Once people have seen the light, gotten a taste of heaven and been part of the work of the Holy Spirit, once they’ve personally experienced the sheer goodness of God’s Word and the powers breaking in on us—if then they turn their backs on it, washing their hands of the whole thing, well, they can’t start over as if nothing happened. That’s impossible. Why, they’ve re-crucified Jesus! They’ve repudiated him in public! Parched ground that soaks up the rain and then produces an abundance of carrots and corn for its gardener gets God’s “Well done!” But if it produces weeds and thistles, it’s more likely to get cussed out. Fields like that are burned, not harvested.

Moving Forward–Hebrews 6 part 1

In Life, there are those who live many good years; while others live one miserable year many times.  Oh, they may change jobs or locations.  They may have different events, but, when it gets right down to it, they are simply repeating the same year again and again.  It is a sad thing.  That is how some in the body of Christ also live–only in a spiritual sense.  They have a relationship with the Lord that was started quite sincerely, but, they keep living that experience over and over.  They do the “right things” they attend the right services; but, they become stuck in the rut of the basics and never really become spiritually mature.

God wants us to move on from the basics.  He, like any father, longs to see us thrive and become mature followers that regard selflessness as honorable and humility a joy.  Like any adult, they are feeding themselves, clothing themselves and interacting with both God and men on a mature level.  The question is not about where we will spend eternity, but, how we will prepare for it here and react to it when we arrive. God Loves us.  He simply ask that we take this ongoing relationship as seriously as he does.

God Bless You

So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds[a] and placing our faith in God. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.

Mature Faith–Hebrews 5 Part 2

As followers of Christ, we are called to seek him and to become like him.  We do not perform for our salvation, but as we follow Christ, it should impact our lives.  We should desire to know him more, be more like him. If we simply expect for our salvation to act as a ticket to heaven and nothing more—then we have missed the truth of knowing God.

 Our faith, is an active and growing faith it should impact us. The faith should impact us. We should desire to become like him, knowing his word and seeking direction in prayer. As in any relationship, we must actively pursue it, otherwise, we will be as a child living on milk and never growing.  That is why Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”

 

God Bless You

 

There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word.[c] You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

500–Psalms 119

500-520x200

God’s Word, What a great treasure.  I am so drawn to this book that I truly miss days that I am unable to hide in it for a while.  A wise pastor suggested that I start blogging the lessons that God was showing me. It has truly been an amazing journey.  Today marks my 500th entry into this blog.  I am more confident today than I have ever been that his word is more true and applicable for my life than any other single resource.

Staying faithful in studying the word allows us to focus on the eternal perspective in the midst of our chaotic world.  We hear so many lies and see so much travesty that unless we regularly fill our minds with truth and hope–we will fall prey to the lies and hopelessness this world provides. In addition, hiding hi word in our hearts will assist us in choosing wisely, consistently and it will help us to provide hope to those we see that are hopeless.  Like any other discipline, daily devotion to the Lord is difficult to maintain, but, priceless as a treasure. 

God Bless You

How can a young person stay pure?
    By obeying your word. I have tried hard to find you—
    don’t let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.
12 I praise you, O Lord;
    teach me your decrees.
13 I have recited aloud
    all the regulations you have given us.
14 I have rejoiced in your laws
    as much as in riches.
15 I will study your commandments
    and reflect on your ways.
16 I will delight in your decrees
    and not forget your word.

Christ Our High Priest–Hebrews 5 Part 1

 

In the Jewish culture, The High Priest was more than a religious leader, he was the peoples representative to God and God’s representative to the people.  As the intermediary, The high priest acted as the leader, the listener and the supplicant for each of the people he pastored.  He had to know them, live among them and understand their lives.

That is why Christ emptied himself of his Godly nature and became a man.  He lived among us and experienced all aspects of life–then he could truly represent us before the father, and represent him to us.  When we seek him, we not only find a true savior and friend, but, we also find the greatest advocate we could find.  He truly understands our lives and stands up for us to the father–We could not have a greater High Priest.  Thanks Lord for being the bridge between us and God.

God Bless You

So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So 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.  Every high priest is a man chosen to represent other people in their dealings with God. He presents their gifts to God and offers sacrifices for their sins. And he is able to deal gently with ignorant and wayward people because he himself is subject to the same weaknesses. That is why he must offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as theirs.

And no one can become a high priest simply because he wants such an honor. He must be called by God for this work, just as Aaron was. That is why Christ did not honor himself by assuming he could become High Priest. No, he was chosen by God, who said to him,

“You are my Son.
    Today I have become your Father.[a]

And in another passage God said to him,

“You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”[

The Word–Hebrews 4 Part 2

God and His word are the primary tools of survival that we have on this Journey.  Reality television is filled with survival shows.  There is one with a guy called Bear Grylls.  Bear is the king of surviving anywhere as long as he has his knife.  Well in the spiritual “Man vs World” version, we can overcome some major adversity as long as we have the Lord and his word.  Unlike other spiritual tools, the word is a tool we can use to take the fight to the enemy.  It is also the source of spiritual nutrition when alone and without assistance. The Bible has so many uses, if we are in tune with God and seeking his leadership in our lives.

So, if it is such a great resource, why don’t we use it more? It takes time.  It takes effort and it takes humility.  We have to be willing to study his word and allow it to affect our lives.  We also have to trust the Lord and allow him to work through his word to mold and shape us.  In Matthew 6:33 it says– Seek first his kingdom and righteousness and all other things will be added to you. No trial is unsurvivable, if we have God’s word and use it to its full capacity.

God Bless You

For 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. 13 Nothing 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.

Christ Is Our High Priest

14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So 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.

I Need A Rest–Hebrews 4 Part 1

There was an old radio show called Escape.  In the beginning, the announcer would ask…”Do you want to get away?” In our chaotic world, we simply look for peace and rest.  This is not new.  As much as we would like to think we have it worse, the world has been a mess since Adam and Eve had “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” salad. The peace and rest he provides has always been a core benefit of allowing him to lead.

In this chaotic time, the simplicity of trusting him to lead us through is the only way to experience that peace.  We have to understand, however, peace does not mean an absence of problems, it simply means the ability to face those problems with the confidence that God, not man, is the only one to solve them.  We turn the wheel over to God and he leads us through this life with meaning and into an eternity of fellowship with him.  It is not complex, but, trust me it is difficult.  As the hymn says, trust and obey–for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey

God Bless You

God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it. For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God.[a] For only we who believe can enter his rest. As for the others, God said,

“In my anger I took an oath:
    ‘They will never enter my place of rest,’”[b]

even though this rest has been ready since he made the world. We know it is ready because of the place in the Scriptures where it mentions the seventh day: “On the seventh day God rested from all his work.”[c] But in the other passage God said, “They will never enter my place of rest.”[d]

So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted:

“Today when you hear his voice,
    don’t harden your hearts.”[e]