Category Archives: Hebrews

I am lost

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”  Hebrews 12:1-2.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Hebrews 12-13, and Jude.

Jesus is at the finish line.  My course of life needs to be a straight line to where He is.

If I want to get to where He wants me to get, I must concentrate on Him.

The course to Him will not be a straight line but it must be a straight line in my approach to it.

If I take my eyes off Him, I will head in directions that will delay my arrival to where He wants me to be.

My life is filled with potential distractions; work, blogging, home life, etc..  But they need not be distractions and they won’t be if I can do them and still have my eyes on Him.

The issue, of course, is assessing the things I do.  Can I keep my eyes on Him in this or that activity?  If an activity takes my eyes entirely off Him, then it should be examined by me closely.  It may be that I am not injecting God into the activity.  In that case, I must spend time attempting to inject God into the activity.  No success there?  Time to STOP doing that activity.

I need regular “mindful” alerts during each day.  “Can I rightly represent God in what I am now doing?”

It doesn’t take much to bring God into what I am doing but it must be an intentional act.  God is with me wherever I am BUT does He want me to be where I am?  That is a question worthy of ongoing prayer.

“Lord, I want to be on Your course.  Forgive me for wandering off.  Forgive me for looking at the water around me and losing sight of You.  Direct my paths, I plead.  Open my eyes to You.  Empower me, I beg, to walk with You and toward You.  I love You, Father.”

Are you on God’s course or one of your own choosing?

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This is a big deal

“Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two and three witnesses.  How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” Hebrews 10:28-29.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Hebrews 9-11.

This is no trivial matter.

God is not going to look past rejection of Him.

How many in my midst are rejecting God in their own way?  They don’t have signs in front of their houses announcing it or don’t gather to denounce God.  But by their lives they ignore Him.

I recall in “The Breakfast Club” where the isolated girl in the group is asked about her home life.  It is determined to be bad and the inquiry is about what exactly her family does to her that is so terrible.  Her answer: “They ignore me.”

Ignoring God is an affront to Him.

In the Old Testament there was a harsh law (death) meted out on those who disobeyed God’s law.  If that seemed harsh, imagine what will happen to those who reject Jesus.  Their fate will be eternal.

R.A. Torrey advises that our prayer for others should be that they no longer dishonor God.  A dishonored God is an angry God.  There is no soft landing for those who reject Him.

I look at the people in my midst and MUST realize that their disinterest in God is VERY serious.  There is an eternal consequence ahead for them unless they clearly see themselves before a holy God and realize the peril they are in when that happens.

“Help me, Lord, to intervene as You wish in the lives of the folks in my midst.  Today’s verse highlights the serious trouble the godless are in.  I ask for Your thoughts and Your words written and spoken this day.  O Lord, intervene this day, I pray.”

Rejecting God will not end well.

 

 

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I am a big baby

“We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand.  In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again.”  Hebrews 5:11-12.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible study; Hebrews 5-8.

I taught school for thirty-nine years.

One of the toughest times to be a teacher was after vacations.  Their bodies were in the room, but their brains were in another place.  Teaching them anything was a serious challenge.

The writer of Hebrews is frustrated with those he wants to teach.  He finds them unready to learn.

A importat truth out of these verses is that I must aspire to be a teacher of God’s truths.  That is a crucial aspiration!  I must know what I’m learning well enough that I could teach it in my midst.

I know that for me there is a long road between reading about a subject, and teaching others about those readings.  However, if I knew that I was going to teach others about something, I would tune in closely as I read.  I think that I just get lazy.  I let things roll off me and then wait for the next collection of information to come my way.

If I am going to witness to folks in my midst, I must have a foundation of information at my disposal.  I will not know in advance where a conversation about God will lead.  I need to be prepared.  I need to study.

As I live my life before others, my goal is to rightly represent God.  How do I do it? By knowing God better.  By understanding what He expects from me.  By knowing what He said.  It takes commitment.  Is it important enough to me?

“Lord, plenty for me here.  I need to be able to teach (witness).  To do so rightly, requires a full dose of You.  Fill me, Father.  Open my brain to absorb Your Truths.  I want to rightly represent You in my midst.  Help me, Father.”

Are you teaching anyone about God?  What’s holding you back?

 

 

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I am afraid to die

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”  Hebrews 2:14-15.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Philemon, and Hebrews 1-4.

Jesus did in death.  How?  He came back to life.

If Jesus had stayed dead, then death would have conquered Him.  But in the Easter event, Jesus was brought back to life by God.  Death had lost its sting!

We live in a world that is fearful.  Many are not only scared to death but are also scared of death.  They don’t know what happens after they die, and it rightly worries them.

My neighbor told me that he didn’t think much about the after-life.  He was going to concentrate on the here and now.  Sounds like the folks outside of Noah’s ark as he built it.  When the rains came, I am positive that they wished that had been looking more closely at the future.

If I realize that I have broken God’s laws, and sincerely repent of doing that, then I am ready to accept His Good News.  Jesus died for my sins.  He took care of them.  It’s news really happened.

The act of Jesus dying and God raising Him from death has put me in the clear on Judgment Day.  I am terminal so unless Jesus returns I will die but the thought of death is not fearsome.  It is something to look forward to.  An after-life with God, I can only imagine what it will be like!!

“Lord, I praise You for Your encouraging Word.  Death is done.  It has no hold on me.  I die, so what?  I will be with You forever.  Thank You for providing a way to an amazing after-life.  I love You, Lord.”

Still afraid of death?  Read again what I wrote above.  God has provided a way for your fear of death to be lifted.  Take it!

 

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Comfort zone

“Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.  For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.”  Hebrews 13:13-14.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Isaiah 25-28, and Hebrews 13.

We slide and glide through life.

We are believers in our minds but only closet believers in reality.

We fool ourselves BUT God is not mocked.  He watches us in action.

Like Abraham, we are one thing in private and another in public.  Abraham builds altars to God and yet when forced to go to Egypt because of a famine he betrays his affiliation with God by his actions.  He urges his wife to lie and he betrays his relationship to her.

We do the same in our own way.  We sit in our studies and read, write, and pray.  We’re close to God.  BUT then we go where the godless are and slide shamelessly into their ways.  We complain.  We backstab.  We act like them!  And God sees us.

Today’s verses chide us.  They tell us to follow Him no matter where we are.  We are to come away from our comfortable settings spiritually and venture WITH THAT SAME SPIRITUALITY into troubled waters.

We would have to be fully trusting Him to pull that off, wouldn’t we!  No Sunday church, Tuesday Bible study relationship will work.

But He calls us to it.  When Jesus calls we had better be listening and heeding if we want His blessing.

“Lord, Your Word is powerful.  Without You I am powerless.  Forgive me for being a situational believer.  In some places, I speak Your Name.  In other places, I hold back.  I want Godly consistency in my life.  I cling to You.  Enable me to live taken over my You in all situations this day.  I love You, Father.”

Only in His Strength can I be consistently Godly.

 

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Do you disrespect God?

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.’”  Hebrews 12 28-29.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Isaiah 22-24 and Hebrews 12.

I note three behaviors in these verses that need to be in place for believers; thankfulness, reverence, and awe.

The world we live in is fragile.  Not only that, it is going to pass away when Jesus returns.  The kingdom that will then be set up will be imperishable and those who have believed the Good News and acted accordingly will live in that marvelous setting.

Woe to those who have their hopes set in our current world.  This world will perish including those who cling to it.

So, we must be thankful for the arrangements that are in place for our us when life in this current world ends.  We have a terrific future.

How do we see God?  Do we treat Him as our equal?  Are we disrespectful of Him in how we talk?  Live?

I think that if I was in God’s presence in the after-life I would have nothing to say.  I would be overwhelmed.  Why?  Life would be perfect.  My only possible words would have to be praise for what He has done for me.

When I come into His presence now, how do I act?  Am I reverent?  Am I awe-struck?  Often not.  I refused to realize that He is in charge.  I refuse to credit Him with what He has done for me.  I am irreverent and flip.  He is not someone working on my house to which I might speak a few kind words to.  He is Almighty God!

“Lord, forgive me for minimizing Who You are.  You are the great God.  You know what is best.  I thank You for Your Love for me a sinner.  Forgive me for approaching You casually.  You are awe worthy.  Your Works are all around me.  Open my thinking to You.  Help me to love others as You have loved me.  Forgive my indiscretions.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

God is not your chum.

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You are running out of time

“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”  Hebrews 10:26-27.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Isaiah 15-18, and Hebrews 10.

In the Old Testament times, if you sinned there were sacrifices available to take care of things.

In the New Testament, that changed.  Animal sacrifices ended.  What now?

God made a way for our sins to be taken care of.  How?  He sent Jesus to earth to die for them.

Jesus was no ordinary sacrifice.  He was perfect, blameless.  He was, indeed, the perfect sacrifice.

When Jesus died (Good Friday) He took everyone’s sins with Him.  Those sins included those of folks living before and after the time He lived in.

God accepted the sacrifice of Jesus and raised Him from the dead (Easter).  When Jesus came back from the dead, He was unburdened of the sins He had died with.  Those sins are our sins and we are unburdened of them as well.

We each have new life.  So far, so good but today’s verses get into those who have this information and choose to reject it.  They smear what Jesus did.  They deny it was anything important.  They blaspheme God!

Those folks are in serious trouble. They have rejected the only solution for their sins.  They have set themselves up to be judged for their sins.  Not being friends of God transitions them into enemies of God.  The consequences of that status are horrible.  God is going to deem them unworthy on Judgment Day of an after-life with Him.

“Lord, these verses spell things out very clearly.  There is no wiggle room: we either believe that You took care of our sin problem or we don’t.  So many choose to reject what You have done for them and live unconcerned with the consequences of that rejection.   O Lord, open their hearts.  Make them realize what You did and the consequences of what they’ve done.  I think specifically of my own family……many drift through life oblivious of You.  O Lord, open their hearts.  Wake them up to what they’re missing, I beg.  I love You, Father.”

Rejecting what Jesus did is ultimately serious.

 

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