Hebrews 10:26-29 – No More Sacrifice

Hebrews 10:26-29
26
 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

-The truth is that Jesus Christ laid down His life for our sins.  If we choose not to embrace that truth, we have nowhere else to turn.  There are no other saviors coming along who can make peace between God and man.  All that’s left is to wait for “judgment and fiery indignation“.  Why indignation?  Verse 29 tells us that to reject Jesus is to trample Him and His blood under foot; how would you expect God to feel if we treat His precious son with such contempt?  The Bible teaches that “God is angry with the wicked every day.” (Psalm 7:11)  Make no mistake, rejecting Jesus is the sin that lands people in Hell.

Advertisements

Ephesians 4:14-15 – Even Christ

Ephesians 4:14-15
14 
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

-Notice that Paul isn’t shy to name-drop there at the end of verse 15– “even Christ”.  There are those who can talk about God all day long and never mention Jesus.  John warns us that we “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1) How will we know the difference?  “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.”  (1 John 4:2) If we really know Jesus and what He did for us, how could we talk about God and not talk about Jesus?  How could we have any conversation and not brag on Jesus, much less a “religious” conversation.

Ephesians 5:25-27 – Washing of Water

Ephesians 5:25-27
25
 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

-Sometimes we get dirty or grimy and for lack of better resources, we just do our best to dust ourselves off.  We have a multitude of gels and wipes that we use to kill germs and bacteria that may accumulate on our skin, but to really get ourselves clean, there is no substitute for getting under the water and washing.  While it is obvious when our physical bodies get dirty, it can be harder to spot stains and blemishes on or souls and spirits.  Nevertheless, we get just as dirty on the inside.  The same God who created water and gave it the properties needed to wash our bodies also provided a way to wash the inward self.  There are no short-cut spiritual sanitizers that can clean us on the inside, neither is there any profit in attempting to dust our souls off.  The only way to be clean in the eyes of God is to get under the water of God’s Word.  “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

Psalm 1:1 – Stand Not in the Way


Psalm 1:1
1
 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

-Sinners have a “way”.  It is a way that may seem right, but “the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12) The Lord makes it very clear that the blessed man will avoid these paths.  But consider this verse from another perspective.  There are sinners aplenty struggling to find God.  We can choose to be the helper that comes alongside such a sinner and helps clear the way to Jesus or we can become just one more obstacle that that sinner has to get passed on the way to Jesus.  Just as important as it is for us to stay off the paths of the wicked, it is equally important that we not “become a stumbling block to the weak.” (1 Corinthians 8:9)  That we “standeth not in their way” as it were.  How many people have been driven further from God by the inappropriate actions of a so-called “Christian”?  What a shame if such a charge was laid to our testimony.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 – Wonderful, Matchless Grace

2 Corinthians 12:7-9
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

-The matchless Grace of God; songs have been written about it, lives have been forever changed by it. (including mine, praise God!)  Think about how big a thing God Grace truly is; its only limitation is the very power and character of God Himself.  God’s Grace cannot be exceeded by anything- good or bad.  That means there is nothing we can do, no sin we can commit, that can overpower the Grace of God.  Likewise, there is no other thing you will find in the universe that will ever treat you better than the Grace of God.  The Lord is waiting for each of us, and although He does have judgment and condemnation, He stands ready to offer Grace first to “whosoever will”.  (Revelation 22:17)

James 1:2-4 – Training Faith

James 1:2-4
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

-Have you ever thought of faith as a muscle?  Consider the similarities:  Like muscle tissue, faith can only be made stronger when it is exercised.  Also like muscle tissue, faith grows weaker and atrophies when it’s not used.  Many of us desire to have big faith but just as with the effort involved in developing muscle tissue, we are unwilling to go through the trials and difficulties that are necessary to build our faith up.  One last very important similarity between faith and muscle; in either case the only way to really know how strong you are is to be put to the test.  “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:7)

Philippians 2:5-11 – Let this mind be in you…

Philippians 2:5-11
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

-“And being found in fashion as a man“- There came a day when Jesus realized that He was no longer just Divine; He had become human.  Essentially, this verse it telling us that Jesus found Himself is a very distressing situation.  What do we do when we find ourselves in bad situations?  Usually, the first things is to get indignant about the whole thing or maybe try to deny it altogether.  Next, we try to find someone else to blame for what has happened to us.  What was the first thing Jesus did?  He humbled Himself.  Next, He became obedient.  Obedient to the men and women around Him?  No.  Obedient to His circumstances?  No.  He became obedient to God.  As He told Satan in Luke 4:8“it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”  Philippians 2 gives us great insight into the mind of the Lord.  It makes sense that his mind would be the picture of peace and control while He is in Glory and His will is absolute; but here we see the mind of the Lord on Earth when He is at the mercy of circumstance and what do we find?  His mind is still the picture of peace and control.  “Let this mind be in you.” (v5)

Matthew 6:12 – As We Forgive

Matthew 6:12
12
 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

-What an expectation and a promise- as you forgive, so will you be forgiven.  How do you suppose that Jesus meant this teaching?  Was He telling us that we would be forgiven as soon as we forgive others or that we would be forgiven as much as we forgive others?  I think it is safe to draw both conclusions.  We can expect to receive mercy and forgiveness when we begin to manifest mercy and forgiveness but we can also expect to receive mercy and forgiveness to the extent that we manifest mercy and forgiveness.  If we forgive others none, how can we expect the Lord to forgive us any?  Likewise if we forgive others little, how can we expect the Lord to forgive us much?  “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:2)

Romans 8:28 – According To His Purpose

Romans 8:28
28
 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

-The idea of wish fulfillment is a popular one in our myths and legends.  One such story is that of the monkey’s paw; the idea being that the paw’s owner would receive a certain number of wishes based the number of monkey fingers.  The trick was that the granting of each wish came with a terrible, and usually ironic, cost.  The story emphasizes the lesson “be careful what you wish for”.  It’s an important lesson because if we were granted our every whim and desire, who knows what sort of devastation we may bring about in our lives.  Fortunately the Lord is not just some genie in a bottle.  His power is at work in our lives according to His knowledge and wisdom so He knows the things we want, the things we need, and most importantly, what He can give us without causing us needless trouble.  “The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.” (Proverbs 10:22)

Genesis 6:4-6 – Men of Renown

Genesis 6:4-6
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

-There have always been giants on the earth, mighty men of renown; those who can draw a crowd and seem to be “better” than others.  Many who are not among those giants spend their whole lives trying to fit in among them.  But notice the state of things in verse 5 and 6; the world was so bad that God was grieved in His very heart for having made mankind.  Is being a person of renown really something to be desired?  Those giants certainly didn’t do anything to make the world a good place that was pleasing to the Lord.  But if being a giant is not the right goal, what is the right goal?  What does please the Lord?  “The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” (Psalm 147:11)  “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8)  A person can be a giant on the earth but still very small in the eyes of God.  Likewise a person can go completely unnoticed on the earth but be mighty in the sight of God.  Choose you this day which person you want to be.